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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Copyright 2007 by Cliff Roehr, Pahrump Nevada 89048. All rights


reserved. Please Contact the author for permission before using any parts of
this story or making copies.

I, Cliff Roehr authored this book because I enjoy writing.

I had a few copies printed for my friends and family.

If you noticed this book has no ISBN registration number. That means
that it is not a published book. If you would be interested in publishing and
distributing this book please send me email to one of the three email addresses
that follow. At the present time I check all three every day but I may drop one or
two of them in time so it would be best to send your email to all three.

pahrumpsters@gmail.com

pahrumpsters@yahoo.com

pahrumpsters@hotmail.com

A Colony on Mars

FORWARD

Based on what information we now have it appears that it might be


possible to place a self sustaining colony of human beings on Mars. All of the
necessities seem to be available. We now know that there is plenty of H20
water available beneath the thick layer of frozen CO2 Carbon Dioxide at the
South Pole. It is assumed that the situation would be the same at the north
pole. There is also good evidence that there is liquid H20 water flowing
beneath the suffice of the planet. The known water at the South Pole alone
would be adequate to cover the entire planet with pure water to a depth of
approximately thirty six ft. So, at worst ample water would be a solvable
problem.
Habitat is a problem because the Martian atmosphere is ninety five
percent Carbon Dioxide, and only 3% nitrogen whereas the atmosphere of
Earth is 78% or so nitrogen, 21% oxygen and less than 1% Carbon Dioxide.
There is a solution to this problem. Recent photo's have shown that below the
surface of Mars there are many large fissures, cavern's if you will. One is
known to be at least three times as wide as the Grand Canyon, three times as
deep and nine times as long. This would not be a little cramped space it would
be about the size of the State of Rode Island. A breathable Earth like
atmosphere can be made with water and nitrates. There would be plenty of
water. Initially smaller more manageable caverns could be used while work
was being performed on larger caverns. Caverns could eventually be
interconnected. One estimate I recently read was that there were caverns
beneath the surface of Mars equal to the size of the Continental United States.
This would be a large habitat indeed.
Gardens could be grown underground using electric grow lights. There
are already new strains of plants being developed on Earth that are far more
efficient at photosynthesis, the process of converting Carbon Dioxide to oxygen.
If sufficient Nitrates are available to the plant from the soil then the plant will
consume Carbon Dioxide and produce a breathable atmosphere for man.
At present the mean temperature on the surface of the planet is fifty five
degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. The warmest temperature ever recorded on
Mars was eighty degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. Mars receives far less
sunshine than the Earth because it is further away from the sun. Twice a year
during the equinox the wind speeds on the planet surface reach two hundred
fifty to four hundred miles per hour. A man left unprotected on the surface
would be dead in under a minute.
Mars is only seventeen percent the size of the Earth. Mars, in many
ways is more comparable to Earth's moon than it is to Earth, except that the
minimum gravity that man can survive comfortably in is 33% and Mars gravity is
thirty five percent. Living in a pressurized cavern in an atmosphere rich in
oxygen, taking the proper vitamins, getting plenty of exercise and spending
some time in artificial gravity of one g, Earths gravity could go a long way in
making Mars more habitable. Mars has no ozone layer that protects the
surface from exposure to extreme radiation. The radiation on the surface of
Mars is deadly.
It has been said that all that is needed for survival is a reliable energy
source. On Mars there are probably no fossil fuels however the frequent
volcanoes indicate that geothermal energy would be plentiful. So much for heat
and electricity.
The Martian soil is known to be extremely rich in iron. So far there is no
information that I could find as to the presence of other minerals but with the
high presence of iron there are bound to be others we just have not found them
yet or reported them yet.
So there you have it everything that man would need to survive is
awaiting him on Mars. The technology is already available all that we lack now
is the resolve and the commitment.
NOTE: No time and date system has been universally accepted for
keeping the time and date on Mars, at least not as of 2108. When and if Mars
is ever colonized a standard will be established. Please go to
http://pweb.jps.net/~tgangale/Mars/faq.htm#day where you can read everything
you ever wanted to know about keeping track of time and dates on Mars. Some
interesting facts are as follows: A Martian Day is 24 hours 39 minutes 35.24409
seconds long, a Martian year is 686.9726 Earth days in length. A Martian Day
is called a Sol.
How does the eccentricity of Mars' orbit affect the seasonal variations?
Earth’s orbit is very nearly circular, and so the four seasons last
approximately the same number of days. The orbit of Mars, however, is a bit
more eccentric (0.0934). In accordance with Kepler’s laws of orbital motion,
Mars travels more slowly in its orbit when it is further from the sun, and more
quickly when it is nearer to the sun. Mars reaches its furthest point from the
sun (called "aphelion") when it is spring in the northern hemisphere. This has
the effect of making spring the longest season (193.30 sols), and summer the
second longest (178.64 sols). Mars reaches its closest point to the sun (called
"perihelion") when it is autumn in the northern hemisphere, and consequently
autumn is the shortest season (142.70 sols), and winter is the second shortest
(153.94 sols). On a calendar containing 24-months of equal duration, spring
lasts seven months, while autumn lasts a little more than five. Summer has a
little more than six months, and winter has a little less. This paragraph was
plagiarized from the above mentioned website. I suppose that if this story is
ever released as a book I will have to get permission to use it or completely
reword it. Perhaps now you will understand that for the purposes of this fiction
story the Author has taken license to have the characters in the story use
Greenwich mean time and the Earth calendar and to say that the scientific
community at the colony maintains and prominently posts the Martian time and
date which is available to anyone planning to work on the surface.
Until the reader reaches PART II of this book he will have no idea of what
the story is going to be about. I would encourage you however to not skip
ahead to part II. If you do not read part I then part II will be meaningless. Part
II begins about two thirds of the way through the book.
This story then will be the author's fictional concept of what might take
place if mankind were to embark on a project to colonize Mars.
PART I

CHAPTER – Tim and Carla find work

May 28, 2107 : “Hey Honey, look at this ad in the Review Classified, I
don't believe it, we gotta check this out tomorrow morning.” “Don't believe what
you read Tim, you know, if it sounds too good to be true...” “I know Carla, If it
sounds too good to be true it's not true.” “But I think this may be different. The
ad was placed by Mars Colony, Inc. They have been working up there for
several years now and they are hiring, and look at what they are paying!” “Lets
see that ad, WOW”
“WORK ON Mars, That's right, we are now hiring in all categories,
unskilled, skilled and professional. The lowest wage we pay is $15,000.00
monthly to start. Ten year contract, required. All board and room equipment
and uniforms furnished. Must be an English speaking U.S. Citizen, between 25
and 35 years of age, have a clean police record, pass a rigid physical
examination, pass a drug test and have at a minimum a high school diploma.
Bring your birth certificate, shot record, national ID and health card, copies of
any diplomas or degrees and a detailed resume to Room 2277 Hempstead
building between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM any weekday.”

“We are here about the jobs on Mars, is this for real?” It sure is, just sign
in and have a seat in the waiting room through that door, one of our counselors
will be with you shortly.” There were about twenty others already seated in the
large waiting room. It looked as though there might be quite a wait. A large
table at the entrance was covered with stacks of printed brochures. They each
selected two or three pamphlets, and found two seats together.
The man introduced himself as Hal Bergstrom, he addressed the entire
group. “So either you people want to become Martians or the money brought
you in, either way, you are here. I thought I could thin this crowed out a little
before you go to your interview. As you probably already know Mars has the
potential to support a population of over three hundred million people, but that is
only the potential. Right now there are fewer than three hundred workers on
Mars, their living conditions aren't the best. All but twenty seven of them are
U.S. Government employees, mostly scientists and such. They presently
reside in a cavern that covers about one half square mile.
Back in 2095, almost twelve years ago the Government sent in a work
crew of five hundred men from the Army Corps of Engineers. These workers
took two years to construct the present habitat. When they finished their
project, they left to returned to Earth.
“Once the Corps guys departed the Government people started to arrive.
One of the first projects that they embarked on was mounting the telescope in a
dome that had been constructed by the Army when they were there. This is not
as large and powerful as some telescopes on Earth, or in Earth orbit, but Mars
gets to view area's of the star systems that can not be seen from Earth. On
Mars they have several large dishes mounted on the surface that allow
searches by radio telescope.
There is plenty of water available in the caverns. “Everything else that
they presently have use has been brought from Earth. Electricity is provided by
a generator located in a walled off corner of the cavern. Atmosphere is
manufactured by an apparatus brought from Earth.” Their toilet facilities are in
yet another nearby cavern. They consist of porta potties separated for men and
women. There is a tank of hot and cold water with a dozen showers and wash
basins in each bathroom. The atmosphere has a stench to it, not just in the rest
rooms but everywhere. When you first arrive you will be appalled by it but after
a while you will hardly notice it.
If you are claustrophobic you do not want to take this job. The only way
that a human can go to the surface is clad in a Mars suit, which is similar to a
space suit. They do have plenty of water, underground rivers are plentiful.
There are fish in the stream but you can't eat them they are poisonous. We
really don't even want you touching them until we know more about them.
There is a small video library and each of you will have a personal media
player. That is about all there is to relieve the tedium of daily life.
Our company has had an average of ten employees there for the last five
years, it has taken them that long to prepare, seal and pressurize a small
cavern for the three hundred employees we are now hiring. This new Company
cavern can be reached by a short tunnel from the main cavern. It was just
recently pressurized with atmosphere which made it habitable. We are now
ready to send in work crews. Mars Colony, Inc. has the contract from the
Government for construction of all the additional necessities. Much of your
work will be done in the hostile atmosphere on the surface of the planet
wearing Mars suits. A Mars suit is very cumbersome to work in. We need to
build a sewer plant, install indoor plumbing, with toilets showers, water heaters,
a geothermal electric generation plant and run the electric wiring. In a few
months we want to start tunneling toward the next cavern. Our eventual goal is
a monster cavern located about six miles from the present caverns. You will be
working a eight hour day, six days a week.
This round of hiring, for three hundred workers who will be leaving Earth
on an interplanetary ship in early July of this year. Once you arrive, the only
way you will have to communicate with Earth is by home video or letters that
can be shuttled home whenever a ship from Earth docks. There are presently
about four ships per Earth year. Mars years are twice as long as ours but don't
worry your ten year contract will be for Earth years. Any of you who want an
interview please stay in your seats. If you have any doubts about that lifestyle
please do yourself a favor and leave now.”
Eight people got up and left. Tim and Carla exchanged a long silent look
into each other's eyes and then remained in their chair's. They were then
ushered into what looked like a classroom with desks and terminals. The
instructor in the front waited until they were all seated then the screens in front
of each of them flickered on, an application appeared. After two hours they had
finished the application. Some who had already finished had been ushered out.
“There is always something that you don't think to bring, Carla remarked but I
suspect that I will have time to provide it for them before we leave for Mars.
Carla was presently employed as a short order cook in a chain
restaurant. Tim had finished high school early at seventeen. He had obtained
his degree in engineering from Texas A&M at twenty one. When Tim was a
student at A&M Carla was working as a cook in the cafeteria, that 's how they
met. They were married when Tim graduated. It was a small wedding,
attended only by Carla's family and a few friends from the University.
Tim and Carla had moved to Las Vegas two years before when Tim had
been Laid off from his job as a drilling engineer in Houston, Tim had taken
several construction jobs in the booming Las Vegas building industry just to put
bread on the table but so far had not landed another engineering job. He had
hoped to get employment in the mining industry as an engineer. There weren't
many new wells being drilled in the U.S. anymore and many of the drillers and
engineers were finding other employment. You might say that Tim just hadn't
found himself.
They had the usual amount of personal debt, car payments and credit
card bills but all of their bills and payments were current. They wanted a family
and a home of their own, someday. For the time being they both had to work on
their menial jobs just to make ends meet. The home and the family were
something the future might hold for them.
June 1, 2107 : At their interview hey were given a longer version of the
speech that they had earlier heard from Hal Bergstrom. The woman who
conducted the interview seemed to be bent on convincing them not to take the
job. They were told that if everything on their application checked out and if
they passed their physical examination, and their psych tests, they would be
hired. It was their lucky day. They were both offered jobs, Carla cooking in The
Company mess hall and Tim working on one of the general construction crews.
They would need to prepare a last will and testament and a living will. They
would each need to open a bank account where The Company could deposit
their pay checks. They would each have to have a signature card signed by the
person or firm that they wanted to designate to handle their financial affairs for
them for the next ten years. One nice thing they learned at the interview was
that all money earned while working on Mars was free of all State and Federal
Income tax.
The Psych test for each of them was scheduled on the same day. Tim
and Carla didn't think it would amount to much. They arrived at 7:30 AM on the
third and were sent back to the classroom where they had filled out their
applications. At 8:00 AM the screens on the monitors lit up. They were told to
read the question on the screen select the answer to the question and then click
on next. One at a time they read the questions and selected the best answer.
They were not told how many questions to expect but they did not imagine that
the test would more than 100 questions. There were 250 questions. Most of
the questions were preference questions, very few knowledge questions. After
answering question 250 a message appeared on the screen that thanked them
for taking the test and were told that they were free to leave. Both Tim and
Carla finished just before noon. Carla was done a little ahead of Tim. She just
remained in her seat until she saw that Tim had finished. By the time they left it
was about noon so they went to lunch at a cafeteria across the street from the
building and discussed the test they had just taken while having lunch.
“That was the stupidest test I have ever taken, have you ever taken a
test anything like that when you were attending A&M, Tim? “Nope, that was
completely new to me. I think that even though most of the questions seemed
inane and pointless that Mars Colony, Inc. now has a pretty good idea of how
our mental processes work, how we would be expected to react to any
situation, how tolerant we are of other people, how patient we are and a lot of
other stuff about us that maybe we don't know about ourselves. We are just
going to have to wait them out until the results come back, however long that
takes.”
Before they left the cafeteria Tim's phone rang. He answered and was
told by the girl on the other end of the line that he had done very well on the
test. “You seem to have the exact psychological profile that we are looking for
Tim. By the way, is your wife Carla with you right now? If so please tell here
that she also did very well and fits the profile that we are looking for. You both
passed, congratulations.” “That part of their hiring process was certainly easy
enough,” said Carla. Little did Carla know that more than eighty percent of the
people who took the test had been dropped from consideration for employment.
It wasn't that they were bad people or that weren't intelligent, it was just that
their test results indicated that they would not function well in the environment
that they would be living in on Mars. The Company did not want to go to the
expense of sending people to Mars that would be unhappy with their situation
once they got there.
“My God, Tim do you realize what we are doing, you will be thirty six and
I will be thirty seven before we get back home.” “Well Hon, by the time we get
back this won't seem like home anymore, and late 30's is a great time to retire
and see the world. The way I have it figured we should have over three million
dollars in our account by then.” “Sure, if we last that long, we can return to Earth
any time we want but it will cost us five hundred thousand dollars each to
abrogate our contracts with The Company and an additional one hundred
thousand dollars each for the trip back to Earth, that is what Tony told us at our
interview, remember. No, if we go we will stick it out for the ten years, no matter
how bad it is. After all it couldn't be any worse than going to prison for ten
years, could it?”
The trust department of their bank agreed to handle their financial affairs
and they put a local attorney firm on retainer to periodically check up on the
bank and receive their mail. The firm agreed to forward their important mail at
every opportunity when a ship was leaving. For now they would get their mail
about four times a year, hopefully that would Increase to monthly before their
contract was up.
Mars Colony, Inc. had given each of them a one hundred thousand
dollars in advance pay which they had deposited in the bank, well most of it
anyway. They kept out fifteen thousand for spending money although they had
no idea where they would spend for on Mars. On the last week before their
departure Tim and Carla had paid a final visit to the Attorney Firm that would be
representing them and handling their legal affairs for the next ten years. They
had left their car with an officer at the bank two days before they left for him to
sell, pay off the loan and deposit the rest in their account.
They had visited their families, their friends, their dentist's and their
doctors. Carla had a hard time saying goodbye to her parents and her brother
but Tim only had his father to say goodbye to as his brother had been killed in
Iraq in 2106 and his mother had died of cancer when he was a child. His father
had remarried when Tim was a junior in high school. Tim never cared much for
his stepmother, the feeling was mutual. Tim had an easy time of saying his
goodbye's.
The night before they their friends had thrown them a big going away
party. They were wondering if they could get any sleep at the Earth Orbiter or
on the ship after boarding. They were both a little under the weather.
July 7, 2107: It was already over ninety degrees at 7:30 AM on the
morning of their departure. After check in they made their way to the tarmac
boarding area of the North Las Vegas airport where they were ushered aboard
a Shuttle for their flight to the Earth Orbiter. The Shuttle looked a lot like one of
those little commuter jobs but this was one that could take off from a runway on
Earth, fly through the troposphere, stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere,
Exosphere and on into space. Shuttle are capable of supersonic speeds but
when they are used as space shuttles they fly at subsonic speeds until they
enter space. At a certain altitude the engines on the Rocket propulsion system
kick in and the jet engines shut down. They can return the same way for a soft
landing on Earth.
From the Earth Orbiter they would board the interplanetary ship that
would carry them to Mars. The ship they were to board was called Mars
Supply Two. The other ship that made the Mars run on a regular basis was
called Mars Supply One. They were told that each ship made two round trips
per year. “Impressive names for one of mankind's greatest achievements, don't
you think, Tim.”
They were able to get a good look at the Mars Supply Two from a port
hole on the Shuttle It loomed much larger than they had expected. Since the
ship had been constructed in space and would never leave space weight was
not a consideration, nor was size. The ship was assume, It was cigar shaped,
at least four hundred yards long and appeared to be about seventy five yards
wide at the beam. It was enormous, They later learned that this would be only
the second voyage to Mars that this vessel had made. Until last year there had
only been The Mars Supply One. This ship was a carbon copy of The Mars
Supply One.
They had a some misgivings about the flight that would take almost two
and a half months, but they were given to understand that the ship would be
very comfortable and spacious. Their time would mostly be taken up by training
and orientation classes so that by the time they arrived at the Mars Orbital
Station they would know about as much as it was possible to know about what
to expect when they actually reached their new home.

CHAPTER - The trip to Mars


July 7, 2107: Upon arrival their Shuttle pulled along side the Orbiter then
matched the orbital speed. They heard some clunking sounds then after about
five minutes the door slid open. There were about 35 passengers on the flight
from Las Vegas, most appeared to be in their mid to late twenties. Just as with
a conventional airliner passengers began to stand up and retrieve their carry on
luggage. A young lady in a snappy light blue NASA uniform appeared at the
door and ushered the passengers into the orbiter terminal. They found seats in
the waiting room. They were seated beside a large man. They assumed the
man was to be a passenger on the same flight they were taking, and struck up
a conversation with him.
“Hi, I am Tim Erkin and this is my wife Carla, are you also a new Mars
Colony, Inc. employee?” “ Yeah, I was just hired” said the man in a deep
baritone voice that you would expect from a man of his size. “My name is
Archibald Shrimp, but everybody just calls me Archy. I am from West Virginia, I
signed on as a laborer but I am also a part time minister of the gospel. I was
called for preachen bout eight years back. I been worken in the coal mines
most of my life. I spect we gonna get to know each other pretty well in the next
ten years.
They had a chance to become only briefly acquainted with Archy before
the NASA hostess announced that they could now board and get their room
assignments. The thirty five of them were lead through the air lock and into
another waiting room, this time on the ship.
Carla remarked to Tim “That man we just met just does not seem like
the kind of person that the company would hire, he talks like he is downright
ignorant.” “That's not the impression I got,” Tim responded. “I've been back in
those hills touring the coal mines and that is the way they all talk.”
A junior ship's officer dressed in a blue jumpsuit, and wearing ensign's
bars, started calling names from a roster. White clad attendants lead the
passengers off one by one or in groups of two, to the assigned rooms that they
would be calling home for the next two and a half months.
Tim and Carla were told that since they were a married couple they were
entitled to a suite. Their Suite turned out to be an eight by fourteen foot room
with a double bed, two folding chairs and a small round table. The floors were
carpeted. There was a fairly large TV screen mounted on the wall in front of the
bed. There was also a built in dresser and mirror. There was a four foot by five
foot enclosure near the entrance that took up part of their space, it contained a
shower, toilet basin and mirror. All in all pretty spartan but what did they expect
on a space ship.
They had no more than put their carry on luggage on the bed when there
was a knock at the door. It was the their steward who had shown them to their
room. He introduced himself as Damian, their steward. He told them to let him
know if they needed anything, not that he would get it for them but he would tell
them how to get it. They could always reach him or the steward on duty
through the intercom mounted on the wall beside the bed. “At the moment
though,” he said, you are to go to The Company Room 812 where you will be
issued your on board ID cards. They will be ready for you when you get there.”
Following Damian's directions they took the narrow stairway down three
floors to the eighth floor where they located room 812. They received yellow ID
cards with their picture on them. They were told they must wear these ID cards
at all times. They later found out that yellow meant they were workers
employed by Mars Colony, Inc. The nice young lady that issued them their
cards ask if they had any questions. “Yeah, where is the dining room the class
room and the bar.” asked Tim? “Here is a map of the parts of the ship that you
are authorized access to. I am afraid that we refer to the dining room as the
mess hall. The bar only serves soft drinks or coffee. It is called the 'Day Room'
you will be going to different classrooms from time to time. They are all
numbered on your map. You will see color coding on each floor, you are only
authorized access to the top three floors, 8, 9, and 10. Enjoy your trip, these
are the best accommodations that you will have in the next ten years.”
In their exploration of the top floors they found a nice Day Room with a
small library, a mess hall that would seat about four hundred diners an
adequately equipped gymnasium. They also located several locked
classrooms. Peering through the doors revealed some strange paraphernalia
inside. Many of them resembled what was probably a rendition of the Martian
landscape.
Upon returning to their room Carla turned on the TV. They saw a
schedule displayed on the screen. Breakfast was from 0600 to 0700, lunch
from 1200 to 1300 and dinner from 1700 to 1800, meals would be served at no
other hours. The time on the clock at their bedside indicated that it was already
1130, almost time for lunch. There was a button marked personal messages on
the remote control so Carla gave that a try. Their names appeared on the TV
screen accompanied by a message that said that they were both to appear at
room 914 for orientation at 1330. There was a message for Carla that said she
should report to the mess hall at 0400 for training. There was also a message
for Tim. It said that he should report to room 865 at 0730 to begin training. They
kinda chuckled and Carla said “Well so much for a long leisurely trip.”
They arrived at the mess hall at 1200 sharp to find about one hundred
people ahead of them in line. They noticed when they got up to the door that
the diners were taking a plastic tray, stainless steel silverware and a paper
napkin. Then by placing their tray on top of the glass sneeze guard and easing
it forward they received a portion of everything offered. Once seated they
noticed a selection of sauces along with salt and pepper on each table. The
food they found to be institutional but adequate.
At the Orientation they learned that the ship which maintained artificial
gravity had started with 85% Earth gravity. They all acknowledged that they
had noticed the reduced gravity and were fascinated by it. “Here is how it is
going to work” explained the Government speaker. “We start at 85% but that
will diminish as the trip progresses. By the time we reach the two month mark
of this journey we we will have the gravity down to thirty five percent. That is in
order to get you accustomed to Mars gravity gradually so it won't be as much of
a shock to your system when you actually arrive there. Prolonged exposure to
a gravity of less than 1.0 which is the gravity off Earth will cause stress on your
body. This need not be a problem, at least not while you are on Mars but it
could be when you return to Earth. You could have dizziness, problems
maintaining your balance, nausea and disorientation for several months after
your return. There are things that we can do to minimize the effects living in low
gravity. After this meeting you will be given a shot which will strengthen your
bones and muscles, you will receive a stronger dose of that medication each
month of your trip. You will continue to receive the shots monthly during your
stay in reduced gravity, while on Mars and on your return voyage. You will
continue to receive modified shots monthly for the first two years after your
return to Earth. It is complicated but the human body tends to circulate blood
differently in reduced gravity. The system you were born with was designed to
function best at 1g but we have found that system can function just well at thirty
five percent of 1g if the proper medication is administered on a regular basis.
These shots will help prevent you from developing osteoporosis and muscle
degeneration as well as adjusting your blood flow to and from your heart and
brain. Missing the shots could result in serious medical consequences so be
sure to get your shot monthly. The shots alone will not do it. You will be
furnished with special vitamins that are to be taken daily. It will be necessary for
you to enter a special exercise room on Mars, and on this ship every day.
These exercise rooms are equipped with artificial gravity and will Increase
gravity gradually by 50% during the hour that you are using the exercise
equipment. You will do some high impact exercise like weight lifting and some
low impact rapid movement exercise such as treadmill and bike riding at each
session. You will need to do these exercises on a daily basis. If you shirk these
exercises or don't give 100% you will be shortening your life expectancy
considerably, particularly after your return to Earth. Perhaps some of you have
already found the gym on this ship and thought, well that is a nice touch for the
exercise nuts but it is far more important than that. The exercise is vital and
necessary for your survival. Because of the gravity change that takes place
exercise periods commence on the hour every hour so plan your day
accordingly. You must slide your ID card when you start your exercise period.
Anyone who goes 24 hours without exercising will be held accountable. Get
used to it as you will be doing it every day for the next ten years, or for however
long you remain in low gravity. Just so you will know the gravity on Mars is at
thirty five percent. The lowest gravity that human beings can tolerate over an
extended period of time is 33% so gravity is your enemy. Regular exercise,
shots and vitamins are your friend.”
“Next I would like to discuss the matter of time and date. The time that
we use on the ship and the time that is currently being used on the planet is
Greenwich mean time and the calendar is the ordinary Earth calendar that you
have used all your life. We use Greenwich Mean time based on the 24 hour
clock. We do this because an ordinary wrist watch can provide you with this
information instantly The 24 hour clock is also called military time. The United
States military has used this 24 hour day for over two hundred years. Please
never refer to AM or PM again when giving someone the time.”
Since humans seldom go to the surface of Mars and when they do, it is
for only one hour or less at a time, it is more or less irreverent what time it is on
Mars or what the date is. scientists have worked out a Martian clock and
calendar. The display also gives the current temperature and wind speed. If
you are planning work on the surface it will be necessary to consult the Martian
clock and calendar that has been posted in several places in the Government
cavern and adjacent to each elevator. You can continue by the same time and
date that you have always used. It is important that humans only go out on the
surface when the weather is warmest and the light is best.
“It is inevitable that a certain amount of work will have to be performed
on the surface but it is important that you know that you can not even tolerate
the surface for one second without suffering serious health consequences.
Fortunately we have developed Mars suits which are similar to space suits in
appearance but quite different in many ways. They are specially equipped to
handle the outdoor conditions on the planet. While wearing one of these suits
in the middle of the day a man can work on the surface for up to an hour under
optimum conditions but in no circumstance is it safe to work outdoors in a Mars
suit for more than an hour at a time without coming in and removing the suit for
an hour before venturing out again. Twice a year there are winds that blow
across the surface at speeds ranging from two hundred fifty to four hundred
miles per hour. If you are caught in one of these winds you will be found dead if
you are ever found at all and it won't matter whether you are wearing a Mars
Suit or not. So no one is allowed on the surface to do any kind of work without
obtaining a slip from the project safety engineer. The average temperature on
the surface of the planet is -55 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperature
ever recorded on the surface of the planet was eighty degrees. Mice
introduced to the surface for even three seconds just explode. Don't think that
you can venture out through an air lock even for a second it would probably be
fatal. Surface conditions are constantly monitored by the project safety
engineer who has been thoroughly schooled in determining when outside work
can safely be performed ”
“You are each being given a vitamin box with the date on each
compartment. You will be given a new box a few days before the end of each
month. You absolutely must take that days vitamins every morning after
breakfast. It may be desirable to take vitamin supplements on Earth but on
Mars it can mean the difference between life and death. If you find that you
have missed a day then report immediately to sick bay for a shot. It is vitally
important on Mars that you properly maintain a human body that was never
intended to be there in the first place. We don't want you to feel any trepidation
over the things I have just told you. If you go by the rules you will be fine. You
will be able to return to Earth safe and sound.”
“Now for an interesting little demonstration of artificial gravity. My
assistant on the platform above me is going to drop a rubber ball at my feet. Go
ahead and drop the ball Fred.” The ball hit right in front of the speaker but
instead of bouncing back straight up to him it careened off into the audience,
coming down near the back of the room where a woman prepared to catch it.
Instead of her catching it the ball hit the man two seats down from her in the
chest. He picked it up and the speaker said, “great, now throw the ball back to
me.” When the man threw the ball he was off by about 20 feet. “What does this
demonstration tell us? We are in artificial gravity in a relatively small enclosure.
Even though this ship is as wide as a football field and four times as long it is
still relatively small as space objects go. Artificial gravity behaves differently
from planetary gravity. The larger the object the less difference there is
between artificial and planetary gravity. On Mars which is a planet that
generates it's own gravity the ball would behave more like it would on the Earth
but not exactly. You will eventually adapt to the differences without realizing it
but at first it will seem strange to you because by that time you will have
become accustomed to the way gravity behaves on this ship. This difference
could cause some nausea and equilibrium problems in some people but it is not
serious. It is a temporary condition, it will pass. It is caused by the inner ear
trying to adjust to the new environment. If it causes you too much distress go to
sick bay. They will issue you some medication that may help.”
“Are there any questions at this time?” “Yes,” a woman in the audience
asked. “I thought it took six months to reach Mars even when Mars was at it's
closest point to Earth, how is it that this voyage is going to take only two and a
half months?” “The six months and more voyages were based on launching a
vehicle into space and then shutting down the engines and allowing the space
vehicle to continue on to its destination at the speed that it had attained when
the engines were shut down. On this craft the engines are never shut down
because the ship is powered by nuclear energy. We will continue to accelerate
for about half the journey then will decelerate for the second half. That reduces
the travel time greatly. At the maximum that we will reach on this trip the ship
will be traveling at about one hundred sixty seven million miles per hour, about
one fourth the speed of light. Mars is much too close to Earth to go much faster
than that. We would run the risk of overshooting the planet entirely and leaving
the solar system. A far more sophisticated ship than this is presently under
construction that will exceed the speed of light but at the speed of light it would
still take approximately four and a half years to reach the next solar system
knows as Alpha Centauri.”
“(Alpha Centauri (R Cen / R Centauri) is the brightest star system in the
southern constellation of Centaurus. Although it appears as a single point to
the naked eye, Alpha Centauri is actually a system of three stars, one of which
is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. Alpha Centauri is famous in the
Southern Hemisphere as the outermost "pointer" to the Southern Cross, but it
is too far south to be visible in most of the northern hemisphere. The two
brightest components of the system are too close to be resolved as separate
stars by the naked eye and so are perceived as a single source of light with a
total visual magnitude of about S0.27 (brighter than the third brightest star in the
night sky, Arcturus).”
“Alpha Centauri is the closest star system outside our own solar system,
being 4.39 light-years distant, about 25.8 trillion miles . Proxima Centauri, often
regarded as part of the system, is 4.26 light-years distant. Alpha and Beta
Centauri are the second closest pair of first magnitude stars as seen from the
Earth, and due to the effects of proper motion, they will become the closest pair
around 2166, overtaking Acrux and Becrux”.
“There being no more questions this orientation is adjourned. Be sure to
pick up your vitamins on the way out, also be sure to visit the gym for your
workout, on the hour, at some point that fits your schedule during each 24 hour
cycle.”
The orientation lasted just over an hour. “Well said Carla I guess I
should take my vitamins for star date whatever it is.” “No, you are supposed to
take those after breakfast, remember, we should start tomorrow.” After their
workout and a lite dinner they returned to their room. By this time they had
forgotten all about needing a nap, besides they would have to go to bed early if
Carla was to be in the kitchen at 0400 to begin training.
“Training, that is a laugh, why don't they just call it what it is KP duty?”
“Oh, well, Carla I might luck out and they may teach me how to nail 2x4's
together.” They had intended to check out the coffee bar and day room but
opted to watch a movie on TV, then turn in for the night. They found that could
just select “Movie” on their remote control then a list of over three hundred
movies were available, Including the latest releases that were just now reaching
the box office. It didn't matter which movie they selected, they fell asleep
almost as soon as it started.
July 8, 2107: Carla was kind of amazed when she arrived at the kitchen
the next morning. She was directed to a classroom adjacent to the kitchen
where she could watch what was going on in the kitchen through a large
window. Within five minutes the room attracted twelve other students who
began to get acquainted with one another. This was important to her because
she knew that these were the people she would be working with for the next ten
years of her life. Carla introduced herself to a couple of the others but mostly
just listened as one after the other talked about their backgrounds in food
service and how they had come to be here. She caught a few names but didn't
concentrate on doing so because she would know each of them very well in due
time.
About 0410 a man in cooks whites entered the room, he was a medium
built man of about 40 “Good Morning Students, my name is Don Morino. I am a
member of the ships crew not a member of the kitchen staff. My job is to
provide you with the necessary instruction to enable you to hit the ground
running when you arrive at your duty station.” The first thing he did was to
introduce one of the students as their new mess boss. The woman's name was
Hilda Gorman, she would be in charge of the kitchen operation for the
employees of Mars Colony, Inc. “Hilda will during this voyage select four of you
to be head cooks. She will also select three crews of three cooks each from the
rest of you. So Hilda would you like to address your crew before we get
started?” “I don't have much to say at this time but the other students should
know that for the last nine years I have been employed in the kitchen of a major
hospital. I am married. My husband has also been hired by The Company
because of his background as a hydrological engineer for mining operations
throughout the Northeast. We obviously have no children or we wouldn't be
here. I have a BA degree as a dietitian from Arver college. I went to work for
Central State Hospital in Trenton right out of college. I worked my way up from
the bottom. When I left to take this job, I was in charge of the entire food
service program of the hospital. I am pretty well qualified to have the position
that I hold and I hope that I can adapt to the conditions we find on Mars, I hope
we all can.”
When Hilda sat down Don continued “I guess I owe you an apology, you
are going to have some problems when you first arrive on station. Your kitchen
and dining room is in the hold of this ship, it will have to be installed after you
arrive. Until then you will be using an army field kitchen that is also in the hold
of this ship but can be set up quickly. I am having the field kitchen brought up
here one piece at a time so I can teach you how to use each item to feed three
hundred hungry people. Your refrigerator and freezer space will be shared with
the Government kitchen that is presently operating. Their mess officer has
agreed to accommodate you to the best of his ability but expect some problems
as they don't have that much refrigeration space to spare. You will have to
serve a lot of canned and dehydrated food until your facilities are functioning.”
“The on board food service crew is operating short handed because they will
expect you people to help them with serving and kitchen clean-up for every
meal until we arrive at Mars Station. With that Don lead them to an adjoining
locker room. Please give my assistant your size. She will issue you a set of
whites which you should put on as soon as you receive them. There are
dressing rooms in the rear of the locker room. Your lockers already have your
name on them. My assistant will provide you with the combination to your
locker. Once you are satisfied that the whites are the right size go up and draw
two more sets. Put them, along with your regular clothes, into your locker.
The whole crew shortly found themselves serving breakfast to the
passengers. Once everyone had been served they filled their own trays and
found a seat. Carla found Tim seated with Archibald Shrimp and two other men
she didn't know. They introduced themselves quickly because they were
already eating their breakfast. They had been served scrambled eggs, corned
beef hash, biscuits and gravy and some sliced fresh fruit. “Enjoy your fresh
fruit, once it is gone you probably won't see any fresh fruit for years to come,.”
said the man who had introduced himself as Jack Overmeyer.
The clean up didn't take long and by the time Carla returned to the class
room there was an assortment of cooking appliances at the front of the room.
Don Morino spent the rest of the morning until lunch explaining the proper use
of the equipment. It seemed to Carla that it wouldn't be half bad using this
equipment on a temporary basis as everything seemed pretty well thought out.
Lunch was pretty much a repeat of the breakfast scene. After the cleanup they
were given the afternoon off but told to show up to serve dinner and help with
the clean up again. For the rest of the journey Carla pretty much followed the
same routine. Classes covered all the basic kitchen and cooking skills, food
preservation, sanitation and everything else that most of them were already
quite familiar with. There were a few new things to be aware of, mostly those
concerned becoming accustomed to cooking in low gravity. They didn't seem
particularly complicated, just different, they were techniques that would come
naturally after a few days. Carla found for example that two women could
easily carry a 20 gallon pot of liquid that would weigh about 180 lbs on Earth but
on Mars would only weigh only thirty five percent of that much or about 56 lbs.
If you flipped eggs in a pan to turn them over they might soar to five feet before
they started their decent and then they probably wouldn't come down in the
pan. Until their kitchen was completed on Mars they would be getting their
water in five gallon jugs but not a problem she could lift one easily by herself, it
would weigh 40 lbs on Earth but only weighed 14 lbs on Mars. There were lots
of other things like that.
She chose the early afternoon to go to the gym. The exercises were
about what she had expected but they seemed a little easier to do. Gravity was
still at 85% on the ship.
Tim's training started after breakfast. Tim had an hour or so before he
had to report to start his training. He found the right room and arrived about five
minutes before 0730. There were over two hundred people in the room when
the instructor arrived promptly at 0730. He was dressed from head to foot in a
Mars Suit. There was a microphone in the helmet and a speaker that amplified
his words. There was also a speaker for each ear. His hearing was very
sensitive while wearing the suit. He told them that if turned his volume up to
max he could hear a pin drop one hundred yards away. He spent the next hour
explaining the features of the Mars suit as he removed parts of it from his
person. This suit is unlike a space suit in a number of ways, he told them
because a space suit was designed to wear in a weightless environment,
whereas the Mars suit was designed to protect the wearer from the cold, the UV
rays and from the atmosphere of Mars. The boots were different and the fabric
was much tougher and harder to penetrate because the wearer would be doing
hard physical labor while wearing the suit. The suit air sealed around the neck
so even if the suit were compromised the helmet would remain intact and the
wearer might have time to patch the hole.
Humans working on the surface of the planet always work in pairs. We
always send two people to do one persons job. The iron rule of survival on the
surface is NEVER GO OUTSIDE ALONE. not for any reason, under any
circumstance ever. There are no exceptions to that rule.
“My name is Ashton Thompson, I am the head instructor for the
Company. I will not be going to the planet with you but I was a Captain with the
Army Corps of Engineers that constructed the first habitat on Mars I have spent
more time on the surface of the planet than almost anyone else. The other
instructors were also there with the Corps. You should pay very close attention
to everything they teach you because it is your life that depends on it.”
“You will only be asked or allowed to work on the surface for an hour at a
time. That does not Include working in the caverns that have yet to be
pressurized where you can work up to four hours at a time while wearing the
Mars suit. The caverns on Mars are full of fissures that lead to the surface.
Until all of the fissures have been sealed and the cavern pressurized you must
work in a Mars suit. Once the cavern has been pressurized and heated and
atmosphere introduced you can work in an ordinary jump suit. “
“Most of the work you will be doing in addition to what I have just
described is leveling the floors and building the million and one things that
people need to carry on their lives. Your present priorities will be to finish
setting up The Company cavern to accommodate the three hundred people that
The Company is sending on this ship. The cavern has already been sealed and
pressurized and the floor leveled but your first two priorities must be to
complete the dining room and kitchen and to complete instillation of the
bathroom facilities. Installation of the thermo electric generator for power and
the reverse osmoses system for water purification are items that are also very
high on the list of priorities.”
The the thermo electric generator equipment for that project is on board
this ship. It is essential that we obtain our power and heat from some source
other than diesel generators.” The sooner accomplish these high priority
objectives the more comfortable you will be and the happier the Company will
be.“
“Once these things are completed then you will be sealing a large cavern
that we have found that is withing tunneling distance from the cavern that The
Company will be occupying. Once that cavern is completed and powered by
geothermal energy The Company will be sending in 3,000 more employees to
complete the main cavern which is about the size of the State of Rode Island.
Mars Colony, Inc and the Unites States Government are very aggressive in
pursuit of the goal of occupying the large cavern.
In anticipation of taming that large cavern the company figures they will
need three thousand more employees. Since we are only capable of
transporting about one thousand two hundred workers per year every flight from
now on will be loaded to capacity. Once the large cavern is completed and
settlers begin to arrive more and larger ships will be required to keep them
supplied. Two more space craft are presently under construction. One which
will be dubbed Mars Runner is twice as large and twice as fast as this ship. The
other ship, yet unnamed will be ten times the size of this ship. It will be capable
of speeds greater than the speed of light. It could be capable of journeys
beyond the solar system into deep space.
All of the work on Mars will never be done just as all the work on Earth
will never be done but once the large cavern is finished and populated you can
expect to see cities with business and shopping malls just as you see now on
Earth. Land will be bought and sold just as on Earth. There will be an
independent Government elected by the people. Mars will be a fully functioning
planet.” Since this is all being done by the United States the new settlements
will be a part of the United States.
“That in a nutshell is our plan and your mission.” Our goal beyond my
lifetime is to convert the atmosphere of Mars to be more Earth like which would
involve rotating the planet faster which would Increase the gravity and enable
the planet to retain an atmosphere which we could introduce. At that future time
we would have to figure out how to produce an ozone layer on Mars that would
shield the surface from deadly radiation. Perhaps a friendly atmosphere would
generate it's own ozone layer. We know that those things are possible but it will
probably be another hundred years or more before they are realized. One thing
for certain once this planet is colonized with the technology that we now have
the scientists will be working hard to solve those bigger problems.
“We have prepared sixty lessons and have allowed six to eight hours for
each lesson. You will be broken up into fifteen groups of eleven or twelve
students in each group and will take one lesson per day. The lessons all have
to do with using the equipment, how to do the necessary jobs, safety and the
like. We have 15 instructors so by the time you reach Mars you should pretty
much know what to do and how to do it no matter what your previous
background has been. Most of you have a few years experience in the building
trades and that will be a desirable background to build on. It is just that on Mars
you will be using different materials and different tools. We have posted your
names on the cork board at the back of the room. There are 20 copies for each
team so take a copy of the one for your team. It will tell you what room to report
to and what time to be there for the entire course.”
“You may have the rest of the day off to get acquainted with each other,
you will be working together for a long time, explore the part of the ship where
you have authorization and to set aside one hour for exercising in the gym.”
“Incidentally, if you didn't know there is a restaurant that serves a first
class dinner with two drinks or two glasses of wine. You can order anything you
want from the menu, they are open from 1700 to 2200 every evening. The food
and service are the very best. The restaurant is run by a contract vendor. The
price is a little steep by Earth standards, $200.00 per person but that covers
everything, even the gratuity. You will find the restaurant behind an unmarked
door in room 888. Reservations are required, just ask your room steward to set
them up for you. You will not be allowed to eat there more than once a week.
You may pay by sliding your ID card and the price will be deducted from your
next pay check. You might want to have one more meal in a top notch
restaurant before you disembark. This will probably be your last opportunity for
ten years.”
There was an extended question and answer period but the meeting let
out by 1000 hours. Tim found his name on the list for group 11. He was
pleased to see the name Archibald Shrimp on the same list. It was easy to find
Archy, then together they watched for others taking a copy of list 11. They coat
tailed five of them. Someone suggested they go to the coffee shop and get
acquainted. The coffee shop served all beverages for one dollar except the
special coffee's which were $5.00. Once again you could slide your ID card and
have the amount deducted from wages. As it turned out the coffee shop was
run by the same company that ran the restaurant.
There was one girl in the group but the other six were all guys. The girl
was black and that didn't make Archy unhappy at all. She turned out to be
Gladys Hayes and was a high rise construction worker from New York City, yes
a beam walker. Albert Gonzalez was a tile layer from Albuquerque, John
Prince, had worked for a paving contractor in Spokane, Alan Nagoyuk, had
worked as a construction foreman in Fairbanks. All but John took a dollar cup
of coffee, John opted for a cafe-lata for $5.00, “What the hell, I am going to be a
millionaire,” he said. They found a large round table and began to tell each
other their life stories.
Albert said that aside from his job laying tile his hobby had been cave
exploration, he had been a Speleological Society member for eight years and
had explored caves all over North America. “My friends of course refer to me
as the cave man.”
Alan said that he had been a member of the Alaska, National Guard and
had instructed survivalist training in the guard.
John Prince said “I started playing baseball in little league and have
played all my life, I even made a minor league roster for a year before I figured
out that I just did not have what it takes to make it in the majors so I just play
baseball now as a hobby.” Tim noted “You won't be playing any baseball on
Mars, I'm afraid because baseball won't work there, a pitcher could throw a
baseball hard enough to kill a man on Mars and a sharp line drive could also be
lethal, a man just can't handle a baseball coming at him three hundred miles per
hour. Also worthy of mention here is that football, basketball and soccer won't
work on Mars either. A quarterback could pass a ball two hundred yards and
could throw it hard enough to kill his receiver. Basketball might sort of work but
everyone in the game could shoot from anywhere on the court with ease but
probably could only make a slam dunk because the ball would go awry.
Dribbling wouldn't work very well either nor would passing. Soccer, hockey, all
Earth sports are out on Mars, tennis, that's out too, the projectile just moves too
fast and has lethal potential with every play. We are just going to have to invent
new sports, maybe using oversize Nerf balls.” “I never thought of it that way but
I guess you are right, we will just have to invent our own new sports and start
from scratch.” said Archy. “Cave exploration and arctic survival could be useful
skills though.”
After their chat they all showed up for their exercise class in the gym, it
wouldn't ordinarily have been conducted as a class but since they were all new
at it the instructor lead them all through the exercise routine for the first time
together. They learned that they had to move slow in low gravity and set the
machines for high resistance, if they moved fast they could hurt themselves. If
they set the machines for ordinary gravity they wouldn't feel any resistance at
all. Even doing calisthenics you have to move slowly the instructor told them.
Right now that doesn't a apply because we are presently at 82% gravity but on
Mars it will be very true.
July 11, 2107: Tim and the others had started their training, Carla had
continued her training and they sort of fell into a routine. After her first day of
starting at 0400 hours they had changed Carla's reporting hour to 0530 so she
would be there in time to help in getting the breakfast line set up to serve
breakfast. Her classes ran from 0700 to 1130 when she helped with lunch then
she was off until it was time to set up for dinner at 1630, she was all through for
the day at 2000 hours. Tim attended classes from 0800 to 1200 then from 1300
until they had finished with the lesson plan for the day. They began to make
new acquaintances and friends within the group that would remain on Mars with
for years to come. Everyone had taken a liking to Hilda, she was real people.
One couple that they spent a lot of time with were Juan and Lupe Rivera,
who were also recruited as a couple. Juan was an MD with a specialty Space
Medicine. Lupe was a Registered Nurse Practitioner, specializing in family
health care. Both of them had degrees from UCLA Medical School in Los
Angeles. They had both been working at L.A. County General when they were
selected for this job. Juan had made several journey's into space for NASA as
resident physician. “I'll bet that The Company paid dearly to get you two, “ Tim
remarked shortly after they had met. “Not as much as you might imagine,” Juan
responded, “I guess it was because we wanted this gig so badly, we were
willing to sell out cheap.” Juan told them that there were at least three other
physicians and half a dozen other nurses on this flight that The Company had
hired to care for their employees. “We have a whole clinic in the hold of this
ship. I am hoping that you construction boys give us a priority when it comes to
setting up our clinic.” “I don't have anything to say about priorities” said Tim “but
I will sure put in a good word for you, and on my day off I could help with some
of the setup, Just think Juan, if they put it to a vote most of these folks would
want the kitchen and dining room set up first. Only the sick ones would want
the clinic. Besides the Government already has their clinic set up and you
could work out of there until your clinic is up and running.” “I heard that they
don't even have a roof over their head at that clinic”, said Juan. “Nobody on
Mars has a roof over their head Juan, just walls, doors and windows, that's the
way buildings go up on Mars, they are all indoors, anyway, so who needs a
roof? I hear that most of the people there now just put up four walls and put
their air mattress and bedding inside. They each have a wire framed sheet
plastic set of drawers to keep their clothing and other belongings in. That is
about all they have for now. We have light weight furniture on board for each
person and couple and air mattresses for all the new employees but it is up to
them to make their own walls. This life style is going to take some getting used
to. I have no idea what you pictured as a clinic but it won't be anything like what
you imagine. I know that some of us in construction will be making Martian
cement blocks and putting up walls for people. We have some plastic sheeting
in the hold that folks will be able to use for windows but so far no one has
figured out how to make doors. So far the best idea has been to make the walls
so you have to enter then turn left and take about three steps before you can
turn right and actually enter the room. Remember there is no need for
protection from the weather which is always perfect and there are no personal
lamps to light a room. Most people just have reading lamps and flash lights to
see things after lights out in the caverns. They turn the lights out every night at
2200 and turn them back on at 0600. Public buildings like the kitchen and your
clinic will have auxiliary lighting that can be turned or off at any hour.” “Where
did you hear all this? Tim.” Classes, I have been going to class every day for
the last ten days. I have been learning a lot about the living conditions that we
will find there.”
July 20, 2107: About 1730 they heard a knock on their door, it was Juan
and Lupe, “You guys ready yet?” Tim and Carla were dressed in their best
civilian clothes, well actually their only civilian clothes, Tim had on his sports
coat, shirt tie and slacks and civilian shoes, Carla was wearing her dress.
These were the clothes they were wearing when they left Earth, was it just two
weeks ago, it seemed like months. Tim said, “You guys shouldn't be doing this,
buying our dinner at those prices.” “Don't give it a thought, Tim, you guys signed
up for this job for the chance to become millionaire's but I was born into money.
Those prices don't even seem high to me, we frequently spent that amount for a
dinner in a good restaurant in L.A..” Juan had made their reservations at the
restaurant and just informed Tim and Carla that they were going to dinner as his
guest the day before.
When they entered through the unmarked door it was like stepping into a
different world. There were waiters in tuxedos and white table cloths. The
head waiter seated them at a table for four to one side of the room. Their
steaks were grilled to perfection and came with all the trimmings. They ate and
talked and shared he two bottles of wine they were entitled to. “I wonder why
they are so tight with the booze on this ship”, asked Tim. “It is probably
because not enough is known about the effects of alcohol consumption in low
gravity. We have a hard enough time standing up and not falling down in
artificial gravity and alcohol could interact with your shots or some of those
potent vitamins we take every day. The alcohol could intensify some vitamins
that are already at maxim safe dosage levels and it could reduce the effects of
other vitamins. There is really so little known that The Company figures it would
be safe enough to have two drinks a week but they don't want to be held liable
in a law suit if anyone suffers ill effects from their shots or vitamins in
combination with the alcohol. I intend to look into the matter in depth in my
spare time once we are on Mars.” “In the meantime what do they have you
doing on this flight, Juan, while the rest of us are attending classes?” “Since I
am the only Dr. on board with a degree in space medicine and since I have
worked in space on several occasions I am teaching classes on low gravity
medicine to the other Dr's.” “I want you as our primary health care provider
when we get to Mars, Juan” said Carla. “Not to be, Carla, I will not have a
family practice on Mars, in fact I have never had a family practice anywhere, my
specialty is Space Medicine which I am now required to convert over to low
gravity medicine. Lupe is my primary and I suggest you make your deal with
her. What I will be doing is taking on cases that are related to our unique
environmental issues.” “OK, then Lupe would you consider being our primary
health care provider?” “I'd love to Carla, I'll sign you up as soon as we arrive
and I begin practice.” That evening Tim enjoyed an excellent USDA prime steak
and Carla opted for a Maine Lobster tail. It was not difficult for them to hit upon
interesting topics for conversation during the meal. They downed their last bit of
wine and called it an evening.
Juan continued to dine at the restaurant as often as he was allowed to
but had different dinner guests on each occasion. The couples would meet
periodically to shoot the breeze and update Juan on what was being taught in
the Mars construction classes. Tim, had learned how to make Mars cement
which was basically just mud made from a certain soil type found in the caverns
mixed with surface sand. They dried it on the surface of the planet, they
seemed to cure better and quicker when exposed to the UV rays on the
surface. The cement blocks were then carried back inside. They where as
hard as concrete and could be used in many ways. Some were used for
building walls to give people the feeling of privacy. Because a man could easily
lift heavier weights on Mars the standard size for cement blocks was the same
length as those made on Earth but twice the width. By using these larger
blocks steel reinforcement was unnecessary for walls up to eight foot. Cement
could be poured indoors but it took it several days to cure. When a floor was
leveled in a cavern it was first leveled with dirt then covered with the blocks, it
made for very attractive floors. It was a standard practice to add color to the
blocks when the cement was being mixed. Blocks were manufactured in eight
standard colors. The different colors served to break up the starkness of the
caverns, that way everyone's house did not look identical to everyone else's
house. They were even using the cement to make furniture. You could form a
chair out of the cement then put inflatable cushions on the seat and the back,it
could be quite comfortable and attractive when using contrasting or
harmonizing colors.. Juan was interested in hearing all the things that Tim was
learning in his daily classes.
Tim, Carla and the rest continued with their daily routine for the next two
months. Carla no longer had to attend classes but was doing some of the food
preparation in the kitchen and still serving and helping with the cleanup. Tim
had finished his course and knew all the people on list 11 pretty well. They all
seemed eager to learn all they could about each other and about the planet that
would be their home. The instructors all seemed friendly and competent. They
were speaking from first hand experience when they talked about living and
working on the planet surface and in the caverns. The instructors liked their
jobs because they earned excellent money and had lots of time off on the return
trips to Earth. Most of them were already too old to be allowed to work on Mars
again. Tim suggested to Carla that maybe they could be instructors on flights
out to Mars after they had finished their stint working there. Carla said “Yeah,
but they would have to hire both of us.”

CHAPTER - Tim and Carla arrive on Mars

September 28, 2107: Mars now loomed bright as they looked out through
the port hole in their stateroom. It was mysterious and fascinating, they sat and
stared at it for hours. They were notified by Damien their room steward to be
prepared to disembark at 0800 the next morning. The Mars Orbiter was still not
in view but they knew it was out there and the Captain was sure to find it.
They were awakened by a loud clanking sound at 0345 They peered out
their porthole and could see nothing but the planet rotating below them. It was
an eerie feeling, like they were just hanging in space. Carla noted that the
planet really was Red. Carla went to work at her regular time but was told that
all she had to do was serve at 0600 and they would handle the clean up. After
breakfast they returned to their stateroom then went out and wandered in the
hall. They had never seen the hall that crowded, everyone was out wandering.
They were allowed to keep their work clothes which is what they were told to
wear. Their meager luggage was turned over to the baggage crew to be off
loaded to the orbiter. They were scheduled for 0800 departure. The Shuttle
Craft which was much like the one that had carried them Las Vegas to the Earth
Orbiter would be making round trips for the next week. When they boarded the
Shuttle they noticed that it was designed more to ferry cargo than people.
There were sixty people at a time loaded on to the Shuttle , Tim guessed that
the others would have to wait for the Shuttle to deliver them to the surface then
come back for more. They took a seat on a bench along one wall of the Shuttle.
The Shuttle was equipped to handle 15 passengers along each wall and thirty
more in the center sitting back to back. They located their seat belts and
strapped themselves down. As they broke the connection and eased away
from the orbiter they noticed another Shuttle arriving from the surface. The
reentry flight took just over an hour. It was not scary at all, the Shuttle just
glided into the hostile atmosphere and descended smoothly to the surface.
On the way to the surface the passengers got a good look at the
observatory. It was situated about two hundred yards from the freight elevator
at the end of the runway. They also saw the giant radio telescope dishes
mounted on the surrounding hills. They landed on a long smooth runway and
taxied to a small cement building adjacent to a platform that was apparently
large freight elevator. Twenty feet above the freight elevator was a another
platform that served as air lock when the freight platform was in the cavern.
The airlock was connected to the shuttle and they disembarked into the
elevator then the airlock was closed. Both the elevator and the Shuttle were
pressurized. They stood as the elevator descended the equivalent of twenty
five floors and came to an abrupt stop. The door slid smoothly open and they
stepped out into a Mars cavern. Two hundred yards from where they had
stepped off the elevator Tim noticed another elevator shaft running up the far
wall and continuing on through the cavern ceiling.
Tim and Carla took a deep breath, “Do you smell the stench, Carla?”
“Yes, sure I do but they say you won't notice it after a while thank goodness.”
“To me it smells like a sewer,” Tim added.
The lighting was a little dimmer than expected, otherwise, thanks to his
classes everything seemed as he had imagined it. They were greeted by both a
Government representative and a Company Executive. The Government man
appropriately declared, “Welcome to Mars, My name is Walter Potts, I am the
project director and this is Thelma Potts, the Mars Colony, Inc. manager, she is
also my wife of seventeen years. We both came up here with the Corps. Of
Engineers twelve years ago, when we had to live in our Mars suits at all times.
We are the oldest living residents of Mars and we are only in our forties. We
are over age for being here but our duties require little physical exertion, you
young folks are here to do the hard work. Do you want to add anything
Thelma?” “No I just want to welcome these nice people to Mars and I hope to
get to know you all personally as time goes by. I would like to tell you folks right
now that things are different here.” As timing would have it just as Thelma said
that a chicken flew by over their heads. “See what I mean,” she added. “Don't
worry about the chickens, they come and go as they please but always go
home to roost,eat and to lay their eggs.”
“Do any of you have any questions that you would like to ask us now?”
“Yes, I do, my name is John Prince, I played a lot of baseball up until the time I
took this job. It never occurred to me that Earth sports just would not work on
Mars, my question is are there any sports that you have here that we had on
Earth?” True there are a lot of sports that can not be played in low gravity but
there are several that do work and we play them, these include chipping a golf
ball and putting, croquet, shuffle board and horseshoe pitching. There are
some modifications to all of these sports to take low gravity into account but
they all work and are interesting to play.”
“There is one more but it really isn't a sport, it's low stakes poker, which
is a very popular pass time. We started out playing no limit games but things
got out of hand because everyone here has so much money. Some people
were getting hurt badly at no limit poker so we set a five dollar limit on any bet.
It is enforced on the honor system but I have heard that higher stakes games
still go on. If caught playing in a game that allows higher stakes you could be
facing a $5,000.00 fine. If anyone was actually fined the money would go into
the recreation fund.”
“Now if you will please follow me and I will take you on a brief tour of the
facility,” said Walter. The Government facility was quite large, about 320 acres,
or about the size of six tournament golf courses on Earth. There were several
hundred cement buildings, of various bright colors, some bore signs declaring
their purpose, others just numbers, “Look at that Carla they even have street
addresses.” “Watch out!” Carla yelled and yanked Tim aside, as a man in his
thirties skipped by.” “That is what I have been interested in seeing and trying as
soon as we got here,” Tim said, “We learned about it in class and I can't wait to
find my own gate.” As they looked at the people moving about in the clearing
they noticed that no one walked as people did on Earth. They each seemed to
have developed their own way of moving along. Some skipped, some hopped
like a rabbit. The kangaroo gate seemed to be popular but they were all moving
about as fast as an athlete could run on Earth. “I meant to tell you folks about
getting around down here, it is different than on Earth there are things you can
do here that you can't do there and visa versa. Here it is easy to jump up but
you must be careful not to injure yourself when you come down. My advise is
to just cautiously experiment with moving around until you find out just what
your capabilities are and what works for you. If you jump down off of something
you don't land as hard as you would on Earth but it is easy to fall into the trap of
thinking you can jump down from three times the height that you could on Earth
and you can but we do get a lot of serious sprains and broken bones that way.
Here you can jump high enough to be pretty certain that you are going to injure
yourself on your landing. The human body was designed to move around
safely in one g of gravity. Here things are different, all things considered I think
I like this atmosphere and gravity better but it takes some getting used to. For
the first month you are liable to accumulate quite a few black and blue marks
from bumping objects too hard. Watch how other people, who have been here
a while are moving and then try some of the maneuvers you see them
performing. Whatever you do don't hit anyone else and don't try any Martial
Arts moves on anyone else. Serious injury is inevitable if you do. Just be vary
cautious while you acclimate and you will do just fine.”
“Over here we have our gym, I am told that you were introduced to the
gym routine while you were on the ship. I just can't over emphasize the
importance of your daily workout, taking the vitamins you are issued daily and
getting your shot monthly for as long you remain in low gravity. The gym that
we have here is the same as the gym you were working out in while you were
on the ship. Our classes start every hour on the hour from 0600 through 1800.
You will have to sign in. If you miss a day of taking your vitamin supplements or
doing your exercises then it will be necessary for you to seek medical attention.”
One member of the group asked “I was told that you had a cavern for
The Company employees all sealed and pressurized, could you show us our
new home?” “Sure just follow me and try to keep up, I'll go slow so as not to run
away from you.”
They came to a tunnel entrance on the right side of the Government
cavern. The tunnel was approximately fifteen feet high and twenty feet wide.
They followed it for about fifty yards into a three times the size of the
government cavern. “I want you folks to know that everyone at this station has
been working their buns off getting this place ready for you. We even leveled
your floor which I didn't think we could get done but we did.
The Government handles the administration of this facility and the
research but Mars Colony, Inc. is the prime contractor. The Company is
responsible for facilities management. If there is any plumbing or wiring or
building to be done you are the ones who will carry out the tasks. You will be
responsible for facility development and maintenance. The Government takes
care of the atmosphere, I am sure you have already been briefed on your
responsibilities and project objectives. The Company plans to send as many
new employees as possible for the next three years. I am sorry that we were
unable to do more for you but we did all we could. The Company had only one
crew here until your ship docked. I think Thelma has some plans drawn up for
what will go where in this cavern but they are not written in stone and certainly
subject to your input.”
The lighting in the empty cavern was very dim but you could make out all
of the walls. The nice thing Tim Noticed was that there was a small river or
stream, that ranged from fifteen to twenty feet wide, that meandered through
the cavern dividing the front two thirds of the cavern from the back third. There
was even a water fall where the stream entered. It flowed into a small lake that
covered about ten acres. The river ran out of the far side of the lake for about
ninety feet before disappearing through the far wall.
Carla commented, “I am sure glad the ceilings on these caverns are so
high it keeps me from feeling claustrophobic. That is something I was worried
about.” Walter overheard Carla's remark and responded,“ The average ceiling
height in these two caverns is 254 feet. The highest point is 412 feet and the
lowest 196 feet,” just for your information.”
Tim noticed that the water coming down the falls was liquid but along the
edges of the stream there was a two Inch thick crust of ice and there was a
layer of ice about one Inch thick on the surface of the lake that covered about
five feet out, around the bank. “Why is there ice in the lake and river but not on
the falls and the river above the falls,” Tim asked Walter. “I asked that very
question of one of the geologists, Tim and he told me that the water above the
falls is only 31 degrees but because it is in an unpressurized atmosphere it
remains a liquid, once in enters this pressurized cavern it starts to solidify. If we
don't do something to warm this water, at least a little we will end up with an ice
skating rink instead of a stream and a lake in a few weeks. decreasing the
pressure raises the freezing point of water. That is why the water in the
unpressurized river was below 32 degrees but was not frozen when it entered
the cavern but began to freeze once it was exposed to this pressurized
environment. “That is interesting, I thought water always froze at 32 degrees.”
Note that we have installed a concrete plug at the river entrance and
another at the river exit. You can see that water flows beneath the plug, that is
so our precious atmosphere does not escape.”
“By the way how deep is the stream but more importantly how deep is
the lake?” “The stream is pretty shallow, only six foot at it's deepest point but
this lake is twenty foot at it's deepest point. The engineers tell me that it would
be easy to make the lake larger or smaller depending on our needs.
“That is a beautiful little stream but the water is very cold. I'm afraid we
won't be able to go swimming until we have geothermal heat installed. We
hope to, one day, be able to raise catfish in the lake as a food source. The
water is just a little brackish but very usable once you filter it through a reverse
osmosis system. Do not however drink it or bathe in it until it is filtered. We
have done so with no ill effects but it is taking a chance, we don't know where it
has been. “We do know that it contains unknown strains of bacteria and algae.
What we have tested is harmless but new strains of bacteria keep appearing.
There are Martian fish that occasionally seen swimming through. Some
of the fish are edible but they are like mushrooms, some are harmless and
some are lethal. One of your early projects will be to install a fish trap below the
falls to catch any fish that enter the cavern. New varieties of fish keep showing
up also, so it is best that you do not touch any of them, and certainly don't eat
any of them until we know more about them. Once we can positively identify
the edible ones we could begin raising them as a food source, the ones we
have dissected are pretty bony and don't appear to have much meat on them.
It might be better to bring fish in from Earth and try raising them but first we
have to prepare the ponds for them. Probably the next ship to arrive will carry
some fresh water fish, some salt water fish and fish food. I sure hope so, our
diet here is a little monotonous. Fish and Chips would sure be a welcome
improvement.”
“For the moment you new arrivals will be issued some basic necessities
and invited to put your air mattresses anywhere you can find room. We are
going to offer meals at our mess hall doubling the hours for all three meals.
Your kitchen staff will work with the present staff. Until your field kitchen is set
up we won't have enough cooking capacity to offer more than one hot dish per
meal, so get ready to eat some cold cuts for a couple days.”
Their hosts then lead them back through the tunnel to the Government
cavern where Thelma pointed out the supply building. She instructed them to
return to this building later in the day for their necessities. Each of them would
be issued an air mattress and a blanket. Hopefully tomorrow we will have the
rest of your equipment available but some of it you may have to wait a week to
get as it will take that long to unload all of the freight from Mars Supply Two,
which we frequently refer to as MS2. They were then given a phone book
containing over six hundred names followed by six digit numbers. Carla noticed
that all of the numbers started with 000. “What are these phone books for?”
asked one of the newcomers. “That is the Mars phone book my friend, it
contains the phone number of everyone living on the planet. On the front page
you will notice a special listing of important service numbers, we even have 911
service for emergencies.” “That's all well and good one newcomer responded
but we don't have phones.” “You will have as soon as your ship is unloaded
which could take, as I said before, anywhere from a day to a week and another
couple days to get them activated and programmed.”
Walter interrupted,“Now I have some other very interesting things to
show you.” He lead them to the other side of town where he pointed out a
building bearing a sign that read MARS-TV. Yes we have our own live TV news
twice a day, there is occasionally other live programing, the rest of the time they
show recorded video . They operate five channels during prime time but at
least one channel 24 hours a day. All of that is complements of the five major
Networks. In addition to the Government and Mars Colony, Inc. the networks
have a dozen employees here in the colony.
At the moment you are standing in Colony City, the capital city of the
Mars colony. And we are standing at the corner of Front Street and Colonial
Parkway. The other three streets are Main Street, Broadway and Industrial. I
am now leading you down to the equipment storage and supply lot at the end of
Industrial.”
“Here you will find all of the tools and equipment that you will be using.
On the other side of the lot is where we store all of our material's. A lot of our
equipment is old and due for replacement. Thanks to Jake, our motor pool
genius, most things are usually in working order. There is supposed to be a lot
of new equipment arriving on the Mars Supply Two that you arrived on. Even
more is expected when Mars Supply One comes in about four months from
now.”
“You folks just make yourselves at home and look around at anything
that interests you. The only restricted area is the observatory, to go there you
must be accompanied by an authorized employee. If you would like to visit the
observatory just flag down someone wearing a blue and white ID card pinned to
their jumpsuits. You are welcome to explore anywhere else in the city but it
would still be impolite to enter someone's home unless you were invited in.”
As promised lunch was mostly cold cuts and a bowl of soup. There was
a large bowl of pickled mushrooms on the chow line as well. “Where do the
mushrooms come from” Archie ask one of the cooks. “Mushrooms are the only
food that we currently produce here on Mars. We have a walled off room at the
back of this cavern that receives little light. We had some steer manure and
straw brought up from Earth a while back and the mushrooms thrive in it. You
will eat a lot of mushrooms while you are here.
Some of the scientists are raising a test vegetable garden under grow
lights but so far without much success, It takes so much electricity to power the
grow lights that it is cheaper to bring canned vegetables in from Earth. It would
help more than you could imagine if we had plenty of electricity.
The kitchen staff could recognize the members of our kitchen staff by
their white work clothes. Our kitchen workers were collared immediately and
put to work. There were about eight of ours already on the planet the rest were
still on the ship, or en route to the planet in one of the Shuttles.
There are three Shuttles but Shuttle three is already moving cargo from
the ship to the elevator pad which crossed through a double air lock to ground
level where men with electric fork lifts were removing pallets and placing them
in a preprepared area of the supply yard. As the fork lift drivers placed the
pallets in the holding area they spaced them out so workers could see and get
at the contents of each pallet. Tim found the foreman and was put to work
unpacking crates. “Lumber here is a precious commodity so we are very
careful in dismantling the wooden packing crates and the pallets. Everyone
wants wood to construct furniture and construction crews have an insatiable
appetite for wood for all sorts of things. We even straighten the nails and save
the screws and binding strips for future projects, so take your time and stack the
material that they contain so that people seeking that particular item can easily
locate it. Sort the lumber and nails and screws and put them into inventory in
those racks and bins over there.”
Tim had only unpacked a few things when he noticed it was almost
dinner time. He went to the mess hall where they once again had soup and
sandwiches. While he was eating, an ordinary house fly lit on the half sandwich
lying on his plate. Casually and without giving it a thought he shooed the fly
away, then it occurred to him, This is Mars, what are flies doing on Mars. He
asked Carla Later and she said “Oh, yeah, we see them all the time in the
kitchen, kinda reminds you of home doesn't it?”
After dinner he unpacked a few more crates while Carla was still working
in the kitchen. Then on his way to the kitchen, as he was rounding the building
what should he behold but an ant hill and hundreds of the little critters working
away, carrying bits of food from the kitchen. Carla said later, “They must have
been transported up from Earth with food stuffs and had just made the best of
it.”
The group that Included Tim and Carla had returned to the supply
building and drawn out a mattress, a blanket a porta-potty, two rolls of toilet
paper, some shaving depilatory, some after shave and several other items. The
bags with their belongings in them were also now available at supply. When
they had their items selected from the shelves they took them to the desk at the
rear of the room where the clerk scanned them and bagged them. “How do we
pay for these things?” Carla asked “Oh, there is no charge they are all free to
employees, even though you don't have your permanent ID cards I can see by
the cards that you are wearing that you just arrived today.
I have some good news for you. We have your cell phones in, they
apparently came off the ship in the first load. What are your phone numbers, I
will get them for you? Carla quickly consulted the phone book she had been
issued and gave the clerk the numbers. He disappeared into a back storage
room momentarily then returned with two cell phones. “Are you familiar with
these,” he asked. “No, you better show us.” “You just strap them to your wrist,”
he showed them his. “To make a call you push the big blue button beneath the
dial then speak the word 'CALL' followed by the name or number of the person
you want. ”He pushed the button on the face on his phone, then said “CALL'
Carla Erkin.” Carla's phone rang. The clerk then told Carla to depress the blue
button and immediately release it. Carla did as he had instructed and she
heard his voice coming from her phone. “Now Carla, to change volume
depress the red button on the top of the watch. There are four volume presets,
it starts at the lowest setting then keeps getting louder until it reaches maximum
volume then starts over at the lowest setting. When you want to disconnect
depress the blue button again and release it. Had I said “CALL” 000565 then
Tim's phone would have rung. You can either use the persons name or number
and it still works. There is a yellow button on the side of the watch, if it is
blinking that means you have a missed call. Depress that yellow button for
information about the call you missed. We already have a cell relay set up at
each end of The Company cavern so you can use your phones anywhere even
in the tunnel.” Tim and Carla started picking up their items but the clerk
interrupted again.
“Not so fast, I have one more little gadget for you, it is your personal
radio receiver. Bob produced two small plastic gadgets obviously shaped to fit
inside the outer ear like a hearing aid. There were two tiny buttons on the
outside. The clerk who's name was Bob removed his pen from his pocket and
depressed the red button several times and they could hear pop music coming
from the device. Bob then depressed the yellow button and the music changed
from pop music to Country and Western. He depressed it again and soft and
melodic music could be heard. One more time and they heard a voice talking.
“I guess that was pretty obvious,” he said. The red button turns the set on and
sets the volume. You need to Increase the volume by punching the red button
several more times in order to hear it while it is in your hand. Then you press
the yellow button to change stations. After changing stations depress the red
button again twice in rapid succession and it turns the device off then depress
the red button again and it comes back on at the lowest volume level. Hold it
up to your ear and if you can hear it all right put it in your ear. If you want it a
little louder depress the red button once or twice more to Increase the volume to
where you want it. Then insert it into your ear. There are five volume settings
and there are four radio stations always broadcasting. One plays pop music,
one plays C&W, one plays elevator music and the fourth is talk radio. Talk radio
is the most popular. We have ten or so talk radio hosts, most of them invite
listeners to call in and give their opinion about the subject being discussed. The
three music stations are automated but the talk station is live, it comes on at
0500 every day and goes off at 2400. Up until now we only had three hundred
people on Mars so we didn't get all that many people calling in but now with
over six hundred people there will probably be a lot more call ins. When no
one calling in then the host reads news or just blabbers on with his or her own
opinions and views. If there is an emergency the host can over ride the music
broadcasts and switch everyone's set to the talk station while they describe the
emergency or make the announcement that management has given them that
effects everyone. They even break in on the music to remind people that the
dining room opens in five minutes or lights out is in ten minutes, stuff like that.
You don't have to have your radio on at all times but it is a good idea to keep it
on so you don't miss an important announcement.” Tim and Carla adjusted their
volume and of course selected talk radio and inserter the devices in their ear.
“Most people just remove the device if they are having a live conversation with
someone and don't want to be disturbed by their radio for a little while but many
of us have gotten so used to them that we can hold a private conversation with
the radio on. Whatever works for you. The battery is good for about a year but
if it goes dead just drop by and I will put a new battery in for you.”
“Any time you folks think of anything else you want between the hours of
0800 and 2000 just drop in and pick it up. I might suggest that you take one of
those first aid kits over there because you are bound to get some cuts and
scratches during your first few days. The atmosphere here in these caverns is
richer in Oxygen than you are used to on Earth so be sure and take one of the
Oxygen pills if you get light headed and the condition will clear up immediately.
They took a first aid kit and the clerk, Bob scanned it and put it in their bag.
They also noticed a plastic privacy shield that stood four feet high and was
supported by four plastic posts, they could tell by the picture on the label that
they were intended for use with the porta-potty, so they took one of these also.
They then selected a pair of clean work clothes each.
“When ever you folks want clean work clothes just bring back the dirty
ones and deposit them in the big hamper out front, then come in here and draw
clean ones,” Bob told them. “We have some big washers and dryers set up in
the building behind this one.” “What happens to the waste water?” Tim asked.
“There is just a sump hole in the public rest rooms and all the waste water and
stuff goes down that hole, we never see it again and really don't know where it
goes from here. Maybe it comes to a river down there somewhere and just
flows off into uncharted territory. One thing for sure is that this planet can use
all the bacteria it can get from us humans.” Maybe so, thought Tim, now that we
have finished polluting the Earth we can start polluting Mars. Of course, the
handful of people that are here now are just surviving the best they can but
someday soon someone is going to have to address waste disposal before it
becomes a real problem.
After they left Tim told Carla, “On Earth now they have equipment in third
world countries that can process human waste and kill all the harmful bacteria
and germs but leave a useful top soil material that can be used safely to grow
crops. There are plenty of nitrates in this Martian soil that we find below the
surface of the planet. These Nitrates are one of the main components that
enable plants to grow. The Nitrates feed the sugar bacteria produced by the
process of photosynthesis. We have plenty of nitrates on Mars and after all that
is the backbone of producing a fertile top soil that will support growing plants. It
also produces the Nitrogen that makes up the bulk of our atmosphere. The
action of the nitrates feeding the sugar bacteria is what enables the plant to give
off Nitrogen. Lack of fertile top soil containing nitrates is one of the biggest
problems in the third world. Top soil is an even bigger problem, there are parts
of Africa that used to support farms that now lay barren because the top soil has
all blown away. Even in the United States back in the 1920's they had what
they called the dust bowl, where all the topsoil was either covered with fine dust
or had blown away. Thousands were driven from their homes in Oklahoma and
North Texas.”
Tim wrote a report about what he knew on this subject and passed it off
to one of the scientists that he saw walking through the compound. The
scientist stopped long enough to read what Tim had handed him then told Tim
that, “a machine like that is already en route to Mars and they should have it on
the next ship. We have not had one in place sooner because it hasn't been our
highest priority. With the addition of all you new guys we know that good top
soil proper waste disposal will now be of greater importance. We have tried
killing the bacteria in human waste on the surface but when we get it back down
here in the cavern it is just as useless as all the other Mars soil. Those
unfiltered UV rays on the surface kill all bacteria. Including the bacteria that our
bodies are composed of.”
Tim said when they left the supply building that he would like to spend
his first night near the public rest rooms because he did not relish using the
porta-potty. Carla wanted to be close to the Mess Hall also so they located a
spot between two permanent houses then asked the occupants if it would be
OK if they camped there that evening. “Sure, If there is anything you need or if
I can be of any help just let me know.”
“I can't get over how friendly and accommodating everyone is here, “
Carla remarked. “Yeah it's sure a lot different from Earth, it's just like being on
another planet, Ha Ha.
Little did any of the more than three hundred people who had arrived on
the Mars Supply Two that day that only fourteen of them would ever return to
Earth.

CHAPTER - The early days


Carla had to report to the kitchen at 0430 to fix breakfast but Tim had six
days off to build his house and get things set up for temporary living. “Only one
blanket and we don't know how cold it gets here at night Carla said, I wonder if
we are going to get cold.?” “There is a question that I can answer, said Tim and
the answer is no. These caverns are maintained at a constant 73 degrees, year
round, you will never be cold and you will never need a coat. Carla took her
bag of toiletries and headed for the public rest room. The place was busy but
she had little trouble in finding an open shower stall. Surprise it worked just like
the showers on the ship. After her shower she found an open wash basin with
a large mirror where she finished her toiletries and returned to her camp. She
returned about the same time as Tim. They donned their night clothes, inflated
their mattress by pulling the well marked tabs and crawled in to bed to spend
their first night on Mars. March 28, had been a very busy day, indeed. The
lights in the Cavern went out promptly at 2200 everything quieted down and
they both fell asleep almost immediately.
September 29, 2107: Carla's phone rang at 0400, Carla located her
phone and fumbled with her watch before she located the button. She notice
that the button was back lit and blinking so she pushed it. Hi Carla, this is
Hilda, I am just calling the members of my crew that are assigned to prepare
breakfast. I didn't know whether you had an alarm clock working yet or not.
You need to report to the kitchen in 30, minutes to help prepare breakfast.” “Oh,
thanks Hilda, and you were right, I didn't have my alarm clock working yet. I'll
see you then.” She then pushed the button that had started blinking again when
Hilda hung up. And crawled out of bed. Tim just groaned. After a visit to the
public wash room Carla got dressed and went over to the kitchen.
Hilda was there there to set her to her tasks. By 0600 people began to
pour in and breakfast came off smoothly. This morning the kitchen was serving
oatmeal and toast with canned fruit. Tim received a call just as he was finishing
his breakfast at 0645, asking him to report to The Company cavern at 0700 or
as soon thereafter as he could make it. Carla couldn't help but notice how
many people had their ear pieces in and were moving to one kind of music or
another. After a while you will even learn how to tell which station they are
listening to by just watching them,” one of the other kitchen workers said, “If
they are really grooving then that means they are listening to pop. If they have
a serene expression on their face they are listening to the elevator music, If
they look sad it's C&W, and if they look as though they are listening to a
conversation then they got the talk station on. I make a game of trying to
guess. Most often they are listening to talk radio, that's the most popular.”

Tim arrived at work at 0650 and struck up a conversation with Jack


Overmeye. “Did you notice that it is warmer in this cavern than in the
Government cavern, Tim?” “Nope, I haven't been in here enough to pay it much
attention.” “I spent the night in here last night and had to throw my blanket off,
when I got up to go to the bathroom I noticed that it felt chilly in the other
cavern, so this morning I went around feeling all the walls and in the far back
and off to your right there is a hot spot that you can't hold your hand of for long.
I then checked the floor beneath the hot spot and found that to be even hotter.”
Just then Carter Fredrick, facilities superintendent joined them and Jack
related what he had observed to him.”Show me that spot Jack.” The three men
skipped to the back of the cavern and Jack said, “OK, now put your hand right
there.” Sure enough Carter didn't leave it there for long. “Now check the floor
right here below the hot spot,” Carter put his hand on the floor for an instant
then removed quickly and began to check it for damage. “All right after I get all
the crews busy I will consult the scientists about drilling right here.” The three of
them skipped back to where the other construction workers were gathered.
Carter had work assignments based on the crew lists from the ship. “I am
assigning you people to the same crews that you had on the ship for now but
feel free to change crews if you see another crew doing a job that you have
some expertise in. The tools and supplies that you will need can be picked up
in the supply area of the Government cavern. At that point he handed out a list
of assignments for each group. “My name is Carter, I have been heading up
the one crew that has been working here for over two years. I have assigned
one of my people to each crew because they know how to find stuff, they are
not the crew foremen but each of them has a lot of good information that he can
share. Since each of the crews have been together for the last couple months I
imagine that you have a pretty good idea of who you would like to see as your
crew chief, so I would like for each crew to informally pick one of your own and
give me the name so I can make a note of who to call on if I need to contact
your crew. We will figure out a better system later on.”
In addition to working on your crew we have a work order board in the
Government cavern, it is posted in front of the supply room. You should check
the board every morning or evening when you are off duty. If there is a work
request posted that you believe that you have the necessary skills for you
should remove the thumb tack and remove the request. Notify your crew chief
before starting work for the day that you have the work request then handle that
first before catching up with your crew. In that way all requests for repairs or
improvements needed by the members of the community will be handled
promptly. If there are still any requests on the board when I come over to hold
muster I will bring them in with me and assign the job to a volunteer.
With that the crews all had a little meeting to pick their crew chief. Crew
six actually held an election and elected the guy who had been on Mars before
they arrived yesterday. Each of the crew chief's came up to Carter and gave
him the name of the person selected. Then they all went right to work,
assembling the tools and supplies they would need.
The people on Crew eleven assembled and all eyes turned to Tim. One
of the men said “You are the one with the engineering degree Tim, I can say
that you helped me a lot during training, explaining the technical stuff behind
what the instructor had told us. I nominate Tim Erkin to be our foreman, any
seconds,” everybody seconded the motion so they didn't need an election, Tim
was elected. Tim went over to where Carter was standing and told him “Crew
eleven selected Tim Erkin.” Carter just circled the name on the list and said
“Thanks.”
Some crews were working topside making cement blocks, some were
picking up blocks that were already cured and started building public rooms like
the dining room, kitchen and public bath rooms. Some went to work laying in a
water line, to the kitchen, while another crew installed the reverse osmosis
system, where the water from the river entered the cavern above the falls.
Some were running temporary wiring in from the diesel generator that was
situated in the Government cavern. The remaining crews had equally important
tasks. As the morning progressed some of the workers traded places with
workers on the other crews based on previous experience, knowledge, skills
and abilities. I have a lot of experience in installing electrical wiring and would
be of more benefit to the job if one of you guys has plumbing experience and
wants to change jobs. Sure enough some person would say yeah I have some
plumbing experience but I don't know squat about electricity, so they would
switch jobs. Some of the crews had surplus men because the job was being
done by just three or four people that seemed to know what they were doing so
the surplus workers would find a crew that needed more help and go to work
there.
Carter watched the progress in awe. The field kitchen was planned to be
adjacent to the Government kitchen but the men themselves had elected to set
it up in The Company cavern and had it all set up in a couple hours. One of the
crews had located the new walk in refrigerator which was packaged on five
separate pallets, got hold of a forklift and started assembling it with the door
opening into the kitchen. After the lunch break they quickly had it all
assembled, wired in and running. Thelma entered and watched along with
Carter as the crews transformed the Company cavern before their eyes.
Tim saw Carter take Thelma back and show her the hot spot. It was
located at the back wall, near the right side of the Company cavern as you
entered from the Government cavern. The Company cavern was 1.2 miles from
front to back, it was a little over half a mile wide at its widest point but tapered to
only about a quarter mile wide where the tunnel entered. It was about three
eights of a mile wide at the back wall. Of course none of the walls ran in a
straight line. The hot spot was just over a mile from the tunnel entrance. The
floor space in The Company cavern was equal to about 930 football fields at
floor level.
Thelma and Carter examined the hot spot then left the cavern, returning
a few minutes with a couple of the Government scientific types. They pounded,
prodded, drilled out a few core samples from the wall and the floor. They left
the cavern, only to return a short while later with some other scientists. They
talked some more, made some notes. A short time later woman with a camera
came in and took several pictures of the blank wall and the floor. Then they all
left. About 1130 Carter returned and told Jack that he had done every one a big
favor. It is fewer than one hundred feet down at that spot on the floor to where
it is over one thousand degrees Fahrenheit. It would be the ideal spot to mount
the geothermal generator. That spot could even be blocked off from the rest of
the cavern. There is a good water supply in the creek here so it looks like we
have found the spot for our generator, one of them anyhow.
The workers broke for lunch 1200 but most of them were back working
even before 1300. “I have never seen people this industrious but I guess this is
what you get when you only take the cream of the crop.” Carter remarked to
Thelma. “I'll have to admit that I had my doubts yesterday when I discovered
that about half the construction workers were women but I am proud to say that
they seem to be doing just fine.” The crews knocked off for the day at 16:30 to
get cleaned up for dinner. A few of them still stuck around to finish what they
were working on.
That evening The Company cavern was a lot better lit and four hundred
new houses had one level of blocks laid. The crews had not made the walls
higher because they had run out of blocks. The block makers had more than
one thousand new blocks curing on the surface, near the elevator. A few of the
workers had already had a chance to try out their Mars suits on the surface.
Tim walked by the supply area and was amazed to see the amount of material
that had already been unloaded from Mars Supply Two. There was an acre or
more of Supplies now available. Eventually the supplies brought in by the ship
would cover more than five acres. All of the pallets and crates had been
carefully dismantled a and the lumber stacked just like any other supplies.
Once all the wood had been stacked the new people would each receive their
fair share for their personal use.
Tim went to the public bathroom and cleaned up. His crew had been
laying cement blocks and required little advise or supervision from him. He had
spent the day working as a gopher for the other crews because he knew better
than most, how to find things at supply. By the end of the day he had a pretty
good idea where to locate tools and materials that the various installers needed.
Carter spotted Tim in the chow line, and came up to him. “Tim I see that you
have had some well drilling experience. How would you like to be on our drilling
team starting tomorrow morning?” Walter and Thelma Potts were right behind
Tim in line and they invited Carter to step in front. Nobody minded much when
a friend joined someone in line because the line moved pretty fast anyway. “I
would love to do some drilling Carter, I have spent a lot more time drilling than
in construction and that is what my degree is in.” “Good then tomorrow morning
you can pick your team, but you have to take Freddy as your first choice
because he has had a little experience drilling on Mars. Freddy is not a leader,
he's a follower but a good worker and he knows a lot about Mars.” “How many
men would you think that I need?” “I don't know I haven't had any well drilling
experience, in fact you seem to be the only construction guy that I could find
with any.” “Lets start with about eight then. Ordinarily I would say that we need
timbers but since wood is scarce we can settle for a ladder and a superstructure
built from pipe, and a platform at the top made of lumber to hang the drill from.
By the way, do we have well drilling equipment?” “I don't know you might have
to improvise something.” Tim had stumbled across some equipment earlier that
day when he was looking for something else. That evening, after dinner he
enlisted Archy and a couple people that he knew and they constructed a ladder
the superstructure for the rig and a platform.

CHAPTER - Tim drills a well


September 30, 2107: That morning, Tim selected his crew and they went
to work. They scavenged part of what they needed and jury rigged the rest.
They did have some shaft and a drill head, they converted the u-joint and motor
from an old fork lift to be mounted on the platform and turn the shaft. By the
end of the day they had tested all the equipment and had drilled a hole twelve
inches in diameter and about three feet deep.
October 1, 2107: (from Tim's notes}”This morning we started drilling in
earnest but it is not going very well, the drill head keeps binding up and
something we are trying to drill through keeps dulling our drill head so that it has
to be resharpened every few feet. We have obtained a high pressure pump
and a fire hose. We keep washing the clay from the drill bit with the nozzle of
the hose before it can be resharpened. I had an idea, we removed the drill bit
and ran the fire hose through the shaft and gave it full power. The soft clay
began to liquefy and bubble to the top. I noticed small rocks ranging is size
from the size of walnuts to the size of apples being forced up to the surface. I
figured we must be drilling through an ancient lava flow. I picked up the rocks
that were being forced to the surface and threw them into a wheelbarrow. We
were down almost 50 feet and the thermometer indicated that the temperature
was up to two hundred fifty degrees. We needed around one thousand degrees
to obtain sufficient conversion steam to turn a generator the size of the one we
intended to mount and make electricity. That afternoon when the crew went off
duty my curiosity was getting the best of me so I went over to the lake and
rinsed off the rocks I had collected. They looked kind of pretty so I put them in a
canvas bag and took them to my quarters. I didn't know at the time what I
would eventually use them for but on Mars you can find a use for everything.
Maybe I could mount them in concrete and use them to decorate around our
front door someday.”
The talk radio announcer who called himself Harry Martian broke in to
the music stations to announce that drilling had started for the hole that would
enable the new geothermal generator. Tim had his ear piece radio on the talk
station and was amused at the different spins that the listeners put on the
project. A couple callers feared that what they were doing could cause a
volcano to erupt in The Company cavern. Actually, thought Tim, that would be a
possibility. Tim found himself thinking about that possibility the rest of the day.
After work Tim looked up the scientist he had met named George Schultz, and
asked him what he thought. George said, “you don't need to worry at all about
your drilling effort causing a volcano,” “How can you be so sure?” “I am not at all
sure that it won't, Tim but if it does you won't have long to worry about it.”
Somehow Tim did not feel at all reassured.
October 2, 2107: ( from Tims notes) We reached a depth of 60 feet and
were getting a temperature of over six hundred degrees. We continued on
slowly until at just under one hundred feet we were getting the one thousand
degrees that we needed. We withdrew the hose and sank a blade that I had
found in the supply yard that enlarged the hole to a three foot circumference.
We then started inserting a double 6” pipe joined at the bottom by a U shaped
fitting.
When the U at the bottom connecting our two pipes reached five
hundred degrees we began to pump the cold water from the lake into one of the
pipes. Hot water began to spew from the other so we connected a hose to the
end where the hot watter was bubbling out and fed that into the lake. We were
taking our cold water from the headwater of the stream just below the falls. By
this time another crew had mounted the generator on cement blocks so we
connected the out hose to the generator and ran the exhaust water hose from
the generator into the lake. We then powered up the generator and it began to
pump water into the lake. We then eased the dual pipes deeper into the hole.
Shortly we had raw steam flowing into the generator and the fan began to turn.
While we were busy with these tasks the electrical crew had wired the
generator into the electrical system and the power began to flow. Once the
pipes were at the bottom of the hole we aliened the pipe from the generator to
line up with the output pipe and cut the motor forcing the cold water into the
pipe. We didn't have long to make the connection before the U at the bottom of
the pipe would melt. When the live steam diminished enough that we could
handle it in a Mars suit one of the men connected the live steam pipe directly to
the generator and we restarted the pump sending the cold river water into the
ground. On most steam generation systems the water is cooled and recycled
but in this case we needed to heat the water in the stream and the lake so we
are constantly drawing cold water from the headwater just below the falls and
depositing it back into the stream about thirty feet down river. This should be
adequate to heat the stream and lake to a temperature that can accommodate
trout and even catfish. We were generating close to thirty megawatts of power
and it was up to the electricians to route it throughout the facility and put it to
use. I don't know how much thirty megawatts is but they tell me it will be all the
electricity we will need until for some time to come.
That evening everything in the caverns seemed to burn a little brighter.
We left the old diesel generator hooked up as a backup system but we had quit
running it.

CHAPTER – The Food on Mars


October 5, 2107: Besides the ever present mushrooms the colony also
raised chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks and geese. There was a small heard of
goats but there wasn't enough for them to graze on. They produced a little milk
but Tim never knew what happened to that. There certainly wouldn't have been
enough to go around. Once in a while they would butcher a kid but Tim never
found out who got the meat, he suspected the kitchen staff as there would not
be enough fresh meat to go around either. They were getting enough frozen
meat from Earth to flavor their food but they seldom if ever had steak or roast
beef or any plain meat dish even hamburger. There always seemed to be
bacon sausage and once in a while, ham.
Tim looked up the two guys from the Scientific crew that were working
with the small experimental garden and ask them what all it would take to grow
enough vegetables to meet the needs of the community of now over six
hundred people. After some discussion the finally decided that they would need
about 160 acres of fertile irrigated land with adequate grow lights to raise
everything they needed.
In the early part of the twenty first century in the United States the rule of
thumb had been that it took one acre per person to provide food to the country.
Around 2025 The United States changed from a net food exporting country to a
net food importing country. In response to this development farmers became a
lot more efficient at food production. By 2107 the ratio had been reduced to half
an acre per person. Thanks largely to the more extensive use of hot houses for
growing vegetables. On Earth the growing season for most foods was still
seasonal. On Mars there were no seasons and all food could be grown year
around and around the clock. That meant that on Mars the ratio would be about
one quarter acre per person. That included the room that the animals required.
Tim had in mind that the entire area on the Company cavern behind the lake
and stream, which was approximately 320 acres would be the ideal place for
the farm. That would provide all the land that they would need to easily feed a
population of one thousand people. By the time that the population exceeded
one thousand they would have more land because more caverns would be
opened. Tim got a list of the fertilizers that would be needed to bring the
Martian soil to life and keep it producing for one year. They then worked out
just how many grow lights they would need to run a hothouse of that size. The
results were staggering but undaunted Tim spent his next day off working out a
requisition for the needed material and an estimate of how much was spent by
The Company and the Government to provide the community with canned
produce that nobody enjoyed eating. In his equation he allowed for six full time
gardeners. The conclusion reached is that it would be cheaper to raise their
own vegetables on Mars, a lot cheaper.
The next morning before work he gave a copy of his findings to Carter
and another copy to Thelma. The report was well received on Mars . Walter
and Thelma submitted an edited copy of Tim's report to The Company and the
government. Everyone agreed that was what should be done but they knew the
schedule and knew it would be about seven months before the requisitioned
items would arrive. They would just have to continue eating canned vegetables
until then.
October 5, 2107: Message received from Company on Earth. We have
planned a farm on Mars all along. Knowing you would have adequate electricity
soon we have already shipped your farm supplies, grow lights, equipment and
four farmers. They are now en route on Mars Supply Two and should arrive
around January 15, 2108.
October 10, 2107: Not completely satisfied with that Tim and Carter
gathered up all the grow lights they had and all the other lights that could be
converted to grow lights. They then cleaned out the goat pen, the rabbit pens
and the chicken pens and were able to set up a two acre test farm in The
Company cavern. Some of the people with gardening experience volunteered
and two of them were assigned as full time farmers.

CHAPTER – Their first Christmas on Mars


Their first Christmas on Mars was something to behold. Of course they
had no trees, even artificial trees other than one artificial tree that had been
sent up by the Government two or three years back and was looking kind of dog
eared. They didn't have any factory made decorations except for those sent by
the Government to decorate that one lonely tree. Everyone fashioned every day
items and made their own decorations. One couple who's hobby was wood
carving drew out enough wood from supply to carve a nativity scene. Archy
organized a choir of carolers. For the week leading up to Christmas they
roamed the facility for about an hour every evening singing carols
Gift giving was the hardest part but everyone came up with some sort of
original idea as to what to give and to who and how to wrap it. A lot of unique
ideas went into that part of the holiday. Carla baked Tim a batch of chocolate
chip cookies in the kitchen and wrapped them in foil. Tim was stuck, he couldn't
think of a thing to give Carla, then he remembered the rocks he had picked out
of the mud when he was drilling the well. He picked out a middle sized rock
that he thought was the prettiest, it was about the size of a Roma tomato. He
wrapped it in a blue paper towel and tied a red string around the top.
They went to a special Christmas dinner on the evening of the 24th.
Carla had arranged to have the evening off. After dinner they returned to their
little house and exchanged gifts. Tim was especially pleased with the cookies
and felt a little bad that he hadn't gotten something better for Carla than that
ugly rock.
When Carla opened her gift her eye's opened wide and her mouth
dropped open and she gasp two or three times to get her breath. “Tim, where
on Earth did you find this? I didn't find it on Earth Carla I found it on Mars.” “Well
unless I am terribly mistaken this is about a three ounce uncut diamond. It
could be worth almost a million dollars on Earth. Then Tim's mouth dropped
open and they just sat there for a minute looking into each other's mouths.
“Were there any more of these where you found this one,” Carla stammered.
“Yeah, I have a whole bag of them, altogether maybe five or six pounds. He
retrieved the bag from amongst his belongings and emptied the contents onto
the table. Carla just sat there and kept saying “Oh, my God.” “Oh, my God.”
over and over. If these are diamonds and I am almost sure that they are do you
have any idea of their value? Maybe millions and possibly even over a billion
dollars, once they are cut and polished, that's billion with a B.”
If that is the case Carla they won't be worth anything if their existence
becomes common knowledge. Carla said, “wait a minute, I met a man here on
Mars, one of the scientists who's father is a jeweler and diamond cutter. My
acquaintance, Paul Silverman, said that his father was teaching him the trade
but Paul said he wasn't interested and went to MIT where got a PHD in Math
instead. Paul, or rather Dr. Silverman is a Government employee. I think we
better get him on this anyway and see what he has to say. Tim chuckled and
said “ if Silverman means what I think it means he won't have anything to do on
Christmas Eve anyway and it is still early, so I can't resist I am going to give him
a call.”
“Hello, this is Paul.” “You don't know me Dr. but you may know my wife
Carla, Erkin that works in the kitchen, my name is Tim Erkin I am her husband
and I work in construction. The reason that I am calling is that I found some
unusual rocks the other day and Carla thinks you ought to see them and maybe
identify them for us.” “Yes Tim I know who your wife is, lovely girl, you are a very
lucky man. Certainly I will be happy to look at your find and identify the stones
for you, please bring them by anytime.” “How about now Dr. are you busy.”
“Well I am watching a movie on TV but I guess I could put that on record when
you get here. I live at 850 Broadway and I'll be expecting you and your lovely
wife. Tim put the stones back in the bag and they were outside Dr. Silverman's
entrance iwithin five minutes. Come on in, folks and show me what you have
found that you are so curious about. After shaking hands, Tim reached into his
bag and pulled out a small stone at random and handed it to Dr. Silverman.”
The good doctor's mouth dropped open and all he could say was “Oh, my God.”
“Oh, my God.” over and over. “I had the same reaction Paul but I wasn't sure,
you have just confirmed it.” “Could I see the other stones please Tim?” At which
point Tim emptied the contents of the bag on Paul's table. Paul took his
eyepiece from a desk drawer, sat down and began to examine Tims find piece
by piece.
He selected one with a sharp edge then picked a cut gem that he had
been working with. Paul explained that making jewelry was his hobby. “ I make
up items here and then send them back on the next ship to my family who sell
them for me and deposit the money in my account. I don't know whether you
knew it or not but it is free to send things back to Earth as the ships are all
returning empty anyway.” Paul then took the stone and made a sharp cut into
the faceted stone that he had picked up off his workbench. It is seven in
hardness he said. He then held the stone up to the light and studied it as far as
I can tell this is a perfect stone., he announced. Paul then put it on a scales,
this particular stone weighs in at 4.2 oz or roughly 441 carats. Paul then put the
whole collection on his scales, the combined weight was 12.5 pounds, or about
21,000 carats. You would loose about half in cutting. If you just cut them into
one carat stones you would realize about 10,500 one carat perfect diamonds
currently selling at $2,700.00. These would retail at about 28.5 million dollars.
If I cut and polish and market them for you my family and I would take 75% of
the retail value. Understand that my family does not deal in retail. We are
wholesalers only. But doing it that way you would still have over 7.5 million for
your share. We are going to do better than that though I am going to sell some
of these as two carat stones, some as three carat some even as larger stones.
My family frequently deals in very large stones which are worth far more per
carat. Your share could easily come out to between 15 and 20 million dollars.
“Come, you two sit over here and lets talk. Would you care for a
brandy?, I have it sent up from Earth and I have never offered anyone else a
drink of it before because it is too expensive, but this, this is an occasion that
deserves a whole bottle of brandy. “Sure Paul, I haven't had a drink in a long
time and I think you might be right, this is worth it.”
Once they had their drinks Paul started. “Here is our problem, the way I
see it. If we are not very careful we could ruin the diamond market on Earth if
word of these stones got out. Diamonds themselves have only their industrial
value which would make these stones here worth only a few thousand dollars.
What diamonds do have above and beyond their intrinsic value is their
perceived value. If the market collectively perceives that are worth fifty million
dollars then we can sell them for twenty five million. If the market were to
perceive that they were worthless as jewels then they would have only their
industrial value.
I have the equipment here on Mars to cleave them cut them and mount
them. I have been on Mars for only two years now and I have eight years left
on my contract before I can return to Earth. We must never let anyone know
that these stones are from Mars or like I said the Diamond market on Earth
could collapse. It is only the law of supply and demand that supports the
market. Even the big diamond mines in Africa and elsewhere withhold stones
from the market in order to maximize their price. I could cut a one hundred
million dollar diamond out of that grapefruit you have there but what would I do
with it. No such diamond presently exists and someone would catch on once
my Martian background came to light. Here is what I propose. I should cut
most of these stones right here into large but imperfect facets. Then mount
them in unattractive silver jewelry and send them to my family on Earth. I will
instruct them to open new Swiss bank accounts one for you and Carla and one
for me. They will then rework the stones and melt down the settings which they
will send back to me as bulk silver. They are dealers so they will have little
difficulty in marketing the stones, they will keep half the proceeds from the sale
of the stones and deposit one half of the other half of the money into each of
our accounts. You can trust them they are my family and my family has been
making their living in this trade for over two hundred years, they and I are
ascetic Jews . Because of the sensitive nature of our family business no one of
us have ever cheated another of us not even once in that whole two hundred
years. We have had to set our moral values that high because we have had to
prosper under hostile governments in order to survive. If there was ever a
business where a man's word was his bond, it is this business. Even though I
am a PHD in math which has irked my family to no end I still can't get this stupid
business out of my life, I was born and raised in it and even came to Mars to get
away from the stigma that goes along with this business and my religious
lifestyle but here I sit in my spare time working with these damned stones.”
Tim took Carla by the hand and pulled her toward the door. “Excuse us a
minute Paul we have to talk.” Outside, Tim told Carla, I know about these
people, they are very clannish, and what he says about trust is absolutely
correct, hell these people even survived and did business during the Holocaust,
in Nazi Germany when all the other Jews were sent off to the concentration
camps. I say we go for it. I can always get more stones from where I got these
so we have almost nothing invested.” “Sure Tim it sounds like a win, win
situation, let's go for it.”
In the days that passed they maintained only a nodding relationship with
Paul. On one occasion several weeks later he told Carla “Come by the house
this evening there is something I want to show you. That evening Tim and
Carla went over to see Paul after dark. Once inside Paul poured out the
contents of a velvet pouch onto a velvet pad. There were almost 20 cut
diamonds. They looked large but irregular. “Look, these are all the product of
one of your smaller stones. Since I am being particular when I cleave them but
intentionally clumsy when I cut and polish them I am able to turn one of these
out at approximately one per day. These are all six to eight carrot perfect
diamonds. By the time my relatives on Earth finish with them we should each
receive approximately five hundred thousand dollars. I just have time before
the next ship to Earth leaves to make some ugly cheap jewelry to mount them
in to make them look like dime store stuff to the untrained eye. I will be sending
a shipment like this out on every ship for the next several years. I will give you
your numbered account information as soon as I have it. Aside from that you
are just going to have to trust me and my family until you return to Earth.
The next evening Tim and Carla were discussing their situation.
“According to what Paul has told us we are going to have more money in
Switzerland when we get back than we have in the United States, Carla.” “I am
still a little uneasy about that Tim, that's an awful lot of money and those
relatives of Paul's will have our account number.” Not this next ship but within
the year I want to post a letter to our Trustee and have him make periodic
withdrawals from our Swiss account and deposit the money in our trust account
at the bank. Then I want to order him to begin a regular stock purchase
program of acquiring shares in Mars Colony, Inc.” “I can see having him deposit
the money in our trust account but why would you want shares in Mars Colony,
Inc. They have never turned a profit and they never will.” I made some inquiries
about The Company before we left. It seems that 20 of the 25 richest
individuals and corporations on Earth are behind it. They each put up one
Billion in seed money to get The Company going. So far they have gone
through that 20 billion and the investors have already kicked in another billion
each and you are right The Company has yet to make a dime. Here is what I
think, The Company has arranged to take title to Most of Mars. I suspect, they
already have title to everything that is here except the Government cavern, and
they are just using the taxpayers and the Government to help them with
development expenses. Carla within a year we are going to be taming a cavern
as large as a U.S. State and The Company will own it all. I have also
considered the possibility that The Company already knows about the diamonds
but they don't want to destroy the diamond market either. It's a fluke for me to
have stumbled on to the ones I found, we were drilling with Water pressure
because our drill bit wasn't working and the diamonds that I picked up were
forced up with the mud. I didn't even know what they were but they fascinated
me and I figured they were worth picking up. We used that slag to finish up
around the hole and to mount the generator on, I would imagine there is as
many diamonds that I did not pick up as there were those that I did pick up.
Eventually we will be closing that generator down and then I will have a chance
to go through the rest of that mud. In the meantime those diamonds are safe
and secure and I wouldn't want to do anything that looked suspicious, we can
afford to let them lay there for two or three years. I will go over and poke
around near the surface in a couple months like I am checking up on how our
installation is holding up. If any are near the surface I of course will pick them
up.

CHAPTER – New Years 2108


The workers in the colony had planned a gala celebration for new years
eve. It was new years on Earth but who knows what it is on Mars. That didn't
matter these folks had always celebrated new years and this would be no
exception. When Tim arrived at the colony there was a group of Government
employees that had organized a little Country and Western band and were
entertaining from time to time when people gathered. They even played on
Saturday evenings at the mess hall dining room and many couples and singles
went over there to dance.
Some of the Government employees, like Paul had done had figured out
ways to get some booze shipped in. It was against company and Government
policy which tended to make it very expensive, but the ones who had been
there for a while had their ways. A few folks always had a few drinks on
Saturday evening at the mess hall.
Not to be out done several of the people who had arrived with Tim had
also formed musical groups. There was one that played pop music and another
what was also country and western. Each of these groups had made at least
one appearance at the Saturday night dance and all three bands had their own
shows on a different night of the week on MARS-TV.
All three bands played in the two mess hall dining rooms, rotating from
one to the other. Almost everyone celebrated at one place or the other. They
enjoyed the music, danced and generally had a good time they even counted
down the last ten seconds of 2107 and everyone was kissing everyone else and
someone shouted “This is January 1, 2108.”
___________ JANUARY 2108 _____________
Still there was something missing, alcohol. Oh for sure there were a few
that did not drink, and would not drink but very few. The Company had not
hired anybody that was a recovering alcoholic or had ever had a drunk driving
arrest. So many times on Mars the demography of the population raised it's
ugly head. The strangest thing about living on this planet was the fact that there
was no old people and no children and no babies and no one who did not speak
good English. That had never been driven home more than at the new years
celebration. Even though there were no alcoholics among the population more
than ninety percent of them missed not having a drink on New Years eve. They
had their ten second count down to usher in the new year, but some how it
didn't seem the same.

CHAPTER – Cupid at work JANUARY 2108


So many people that had come to Mars as singles were now couples.
Archy had started performing weddings although there was no place on Mars to
obtain a marriage license and Archy was not an ordained clergyman. What the
hell that is the closest they could get, so after the ceremony they just started
living in sin, so what.
Walter and Thelma took all this into consideration and decided to set up
a court house to start issuing marriage licenses. Little did they realize at the
time that within the year they would be issuing birth certificate's also. A walled
enclosure was erected and a sign hung over the entrance that read Court
House. One of the women on Walter's staff that did computer input was
assigned to move her desk over to the court house and use the computer to
print marriage licenses which Walter signed. As it turned out about half of those
that Archy had married didn't even want a marriage license. This was the hot
topic on talk radio for over a week.
That evening Carla said to Tim, “I have been listening to talk radio, quite
a lot, lately,” then she remarked to Tim, “How can folks get so excited over the
most inane things on that talk radio station?” Tim thought for a moment then
responded, “I think that all of us have just so much attention span to use up
every day, here in these caverns there is really very little of any importance to
spend our attention on. It is not possible for talk radio to not talk about
anything, so they just pick the most interesting of all the uninteresting things
they have to choose from and discuss that. It's like that movie we saw the other
night where the guy was in solitary confinement and had nothing to spend his
attention allotment on, then he spotted a roach in the corner of his cell and
spent all his time watching the antics of that stupid roach, he would watch it for
hours on end, remember”. “Well, no matter, I will probably keep listening to talk
radio, and even calling in on occasion.”
Back to the matter of alcohol. Since The Company furnished them
canned vegetables and since The Company didn't furnish liquor it only made
sense to use what growing capacity that they had to produce their own alcohol.
Rusty at MARS-TV held a discussion on the news and invited listeners to call in
whether they wanted to sacrifice their fresh veggies for booze or not. The call
ins were about fifteen to one in favor of booze. So as each veggie crop was
harvested the crop was replaced with corn. A couple guys who worked
construction were from a part of the country where it was still common to set up
a still and produce their own liquor. You could even get a permit to do that if it
was for your own consumption. Both of these gentlemen claimed to be experts
so they were unofficially appointed to head up that project. They scoured the
facility in search of copper tubing and the other materials they would need.
They came up with everything they needed and constructed the first still on
Mars. There would still be a lack of casks for aging but that would not be much
of a problem. Nobody would want to wait for it to age anyway. The early
batches would lacked that nice brown color that one associates with good
whiskey but it would serve to make Saturday nights a lot more fun.
One Sunday morning early in 2108 Tim and Carla were out for a walk
when they came across Archy holding services for a dozen or so faithful. The
service was about over so Tim and Carla listened to the conclusion of Archie's
sermon. They didn't know much about religion but Archy sure seemed to know
what he was talking about. He sounded very professional. When the service
ended Archie approached them and asked Tim if he would help build a
community church. “Sure Archy but we would have to clear it with Walter and
Thelma. The next time he spoke with Thelma he brought the subject of a
church up for discussion. “Oh, you know how the Government and The
Company are about spending any money for the benefit of any particular
religious group so we would have to call it a community chapel and claim that
we needed it for weddings and funerals. I am not aware of any funerals coming
up but I know of more than a dozen weddings that are being planned.” Tim said,
I could request Rusty to ask for volunteers on the nightly news to have those
interested volunteer their time next Sunday to help build the Church, er a I
mean Community Chapel.” “Not necessary said Thelma, if The Company and
the Government approve the Chapel we can build it on company time with
company materials and even order a few items like pews sent up from Earth.
By the way, Tim do we have a pastor?” “Well sort of, one of our construction
workers is a lay minister. I have heard one of his sermons and he sounds very
professional. I don't know what religion he represents but maybe he could be
persuaded to conduct his services interdenominational.”
Thelma got her permission for the chapel all right but the Government
representative that she talked to in Washington said Oh, my god, we forgot all
about that. With the population that you have now you would be entitled to
three chapels and three chaplains. Watch the next ship Thelma you may be
getting a priest a minister and a rabbi.” Archy was not too pleased when he
heard all this but just shrugged and said maybe the protestant minister will let
me preach one day a week, that would be fine with me.”
The company had been speaking with Carter and Walter and Thelma
and were assured that the colony was prepared to receive a new batch of
workers. “We are a lot better prepared now to receive three hundred new
workers than we were when you sent the last batch she said. Besides the
assigned work is pretty well caught up with now and Carter wants to start
sealing the big cavern as soon as possible after breakthrough. Maybe you
could send three hundred new workers on each ship until further notice. When
we start on the big cavern we will need all the help we can get, it is going to be
a big job to seal and pressurize that baby.” A few minutes later another
message was received from the Company “It's a good thing that you said that
Thelma because on the ship that is due to arrive in January there are three
hundred more employees. Most of them will be construction workers but there
will also be some surprises for you.

CHAPTER - Mars Supply One Docks


January 15, 2108: The first ship to arrive on Mars since the one that Tim
had arrived docked at Mars orbiter. Tim kind of smiled when he saw 35 new
faces step off the elevator and start looking at their new home. Of course
Walter and Thelma were there to greet them. It wasn't the same as when Tim
and Carla's group had arrived. This time the colony was ready for them. Tim
and Carter and several other community leaders were conducting the tours.
Each couple and single were assigned to a new house that had been
constructed for them. The houses had already been furnished with everything
they would need from supply except for their phones, and their TV sets, those
were still being unloaded. The hours for serving meals had been doubled and
a hot meal would be served to everyone, Including the new arrivals. The
kitchen staff was a little short handed and there was a need for the new
equipment that was arriving on The Mars Supply One but everything still went
smoothly. Half of the new people were fed lunch at the Government kitchen
and half at The Company kitchen. All of the meals would be handled in this
manner until the new equipment had been installed in the Company kitchen.
When the new arrivals were shown the house that they had been assigned they
were told that they could trade with each other if two of them agreed. The work
crews did not have to make three hundred new houses to accommodate the
three hundred new people because so many of those who were already there
had moved in with each other, there were quite a few vacancies.
Fourteen of the Government people that had been on Mars for the term
of their contract were returning to Earth but eight who were eligible to return had
opted to stay on without a job and become self employed. There had been
negotiations, people involved, the Company and the Government. The people
who wanted to stay prevailed. The Company and the Government agreed that
they could remain as citizens of Mars. They had to reimburse the colony
$5,000.00 per month for their board, room and medical care but they were free
unemployed citizens of Mars. If these people wanted they could receive a
credit of one hundred thousand dollars for not returning to Earth. If they ever
decided to return they would be required to pay the prevailing rate for passage.
Several others who were eligible to return had extended their contracts for a
few more years and remained in their jobs.
This time around the new arrivals were given up to a week to become
acclimated to their new surroundings before starting to work. Oh my, how
things had changed since Tim and Carla had arrived. Tim had been given a
week off before starting work but that was so he could build a house. All of the
homes, new and existing now had a bathroom with flush toilets and hot and
cold running water, electricity and a television receiver. The TV sets for the new
arrivals would be issued as soon as they had been unloaded. All of the houses
had cement beds that were raised up off the floor with air mattresses on top. All
had cement chairs and tables with cushions on the chairs to make them
comfortable. They all had cement chests with wooden drawers. These weren't
the kinds of houses that people from Earth were accustomed to living in but
they were functional.
The Company cavern community now had twice the population of the
Government community and eight streets had been named. All of the houses
had addresses. The Company cavern was beginning to look like a small city.
What was lacking was a business community with stores and such, but that
would come. An area had been left clear in the center of town for stores that
would be opened by the private sector. It was interesting to note that once flush
toilets had been installed the stench had gone away. The atmosphere control
people had even started introducing a hint off fragrance into the air.
The material to equip and open the first private business was being
unloaded from Mars Supply One. The Company putting in the business was
taking a tremendous loss on the project, one that they knew they could never
be recovered but that didn't matter, it was the publicity they were after. They
had paid Mars Colony, Inc. one and a half billion dollars for the franchise rights
to do business on a one hundred by one hundred square foot lot of leased
space on a 20 year lease. For that amount The Company agreed to send six of
their employees on Mars Supply One and another six employees on Mars
Supply Two. Mars Colony, Inc. agreed to allow this companies employees all
rights and privileges that they would receive had they been Mars Colony, Inc.
employees, including the right to eat in the Mess Hall and the right to free
medical care.
On the evening that the ship had arrived with the new employees Tim
and Carla were home watching Rusty give the news on MARS-TV-Channel 2.
Rusty came on the air and he was really hyped. “Good evening to all of you
regular viewers and to you new arrivals also. As you know if you watch this
news program on a regular basis I am usually hard pressed to find enough
news in the community to fill my half hour slot but not tonight, I have three big
stories that just broke today.”
“First I would like to introduce you to our two new staff members here at
MARS-TV, Folks I want you to meet Clark and Mildred Gibson. They are a
married couple and will be working with our staff on our internet project. I know
the Mars internet doesn't amount to much with fewer than one hundred web
pages but hold on to your seats because here is what is coming in the coming
month or so, are you ready for this folks, Earth INTERNET. Here is how it will
work. There has been a relay antenna installed on the orbiter that circles Earth
and one installed on the one that circles Mars and one each ship, Mars Supply
One and Mars Supply Two, one of which is always en route from Earth to Mars.
Now since it could take anywhere from 4 minutes to 42 minutes for radio waves
to travel between the two planets, depending on where Mars in in its orbit the
delay on getting a command executed on the internet would be prohibitive, this
is what we have worked out . Besides these two folks here there will be two
more employees in Seattle. They will be searching the web and uploading all
information websites to Mars on a full time basis. These to people here in the
studio with me will be downloading what they send and putting those web
pages on Mars internet. The new software that they are using on the Earth end
will automatically pick updates to any website that they have already sent and
send all updates automatically. In addition to that we are making email
accounts that you establish here on Mars, Earth active that is if you send an
email to someone on Earth right now they should receive it within the hour and
you could have your response within two hours or less. We are putting all Mars
email addresses for every person and office on Mars on our Earth website and
we are offering a free lookup service that you can use to obtain email address
for any business, office or person on Earth that has an email address.” Rusty
then introduced and briefly interviewed the two new internet operatives.
“The next item concerns this young gentleman sitting here on my right.
Tell our viewers, Bob do you work for Mars Colony, Inc.?” “No I don't Rusty, nor
do I work for the United States Government. I just arrived here on the Colony
today and I am employed in the private sector.” “Why don't you tell our viewers
what brings you to Mars, Bob?” “I am here to supervise the construction of our
newest outlet. All of the equipment necessary to install our store is being
unloaded from Mars Supply One as we speak. Our location should be up and
operating shortly after Mars Supply Two arrives in about four months.” “I think
our viewers are dying to hear the name of The Company that you work for Bob.”
“Rather than just come right out and tell them I will give your viewers a hint, We
will be located in the business section of The Company cavern and they will be
able to easily find our location, all they will have to do is to look for the big red
arches.” “Do you mean that Burger Boy's is coming to Mars?” “Oh Rusty, you
guessed it and yes I mean that Burger Boy's will be operating on Mars by the
end of May.”
“We are not through yet folks, I now want you to meet Abner Jacobs who
is also a new arrival today and is an employee of the company. Just what kind
of work do you do for The Company Abner?” “There is not just me but I brought
along my wife Jennifer and another couple Dan and Sue Yang, we are what you
might call farmers but we are specialized in grow light indoor farming. All four of
us have masters degrees in Agriculture from University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
We specialize in growing plants indoors.” “We have everything that we need to
get started farming a one hundred sixty acre parcel of land on the ship,
Including a new product that we designed from samples of Mars soil to best
convert this soil to support crops, of course we also brought along adequate
grow lights, fertilizers and seeds and farm equipment to get a farm in operation
within a few months. From then on all of your vegetables will be fresh not
canned. We will produce as a byproduct of the vegetables enough food for a
sizable heard of goats. The goats will provide milk, other dairy products and
meat. Unfortunately Cattle can never be raised on Mars in any quantity, they
release too much methane into the atmosphere. Around our crops area we will
be planting a variety of fruit trees which will benefit from the grow lights on the
crops and eventually produce fresh fruit. I think you will find that our crops are
up to ten times as productive as outdoor crops on Earth that grow seasonally.
Our crops grow constantly and are extremely productive. We will also be taking
over care of your existing animals and will be augmenting them with a dozen
young pigs that we have brought from Earth ” Rusty then introduced the other
three farmers and interviewed them all together.
“I see that our time is up for tonight folks, I hope you have enjoyed
tonights news as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Stay tuned now for
the nightly news with Keith Edwards Unfortunately this will still be 24 hour
delayed.” Sue Yang had responded to several of the questions that Rusty had
asked but Dan Just sat there without saying a word. Rusty asked Abner after
the show if he had done anything to offend Dan. “Naw,” said Abner “I have
been working with Dan Yang for seven years and I have never heard him say
much.”
January 16, 2108: Tim had a chance encounter with Bob the Hamburger
man and ask him how the deal went down that his company was given
permission to operate on Mars when the Government and The Company were
partners in the space ships and in the land they would be doing business on.
“This is what I have heard Tim and mind you that I am not a member of top
management of the company. Our company wanted to operate a franchise on
Mars for publicity purposes back on Earth and Our company is one of the
principals in Mars Colony, Inc. They offered two billion dollars to the
Government and The Company for the following: The Mars ships would move
all the equipment that we needed to Mars along with twelve employees. The
employees would have the same benefits as your company employees and
would be on a ten year contract just as, I assume you are. The Company would
keep us supplied with food stuffs and supplies that would arrive an all future
ships for the next ten years. The Company will construct our business building
on a one hundred by one hundred square foot lot in your business district. That
is about all I know other than there is not really any profit motive for Our
Company but it will provide us with commercials for years to come. Oh there is
one more thing, we will not be allowed to charge more for products here than
the average price that we charge on Earth.” “That about answered all my
questions, Oh yeah, when will the rest of your employees and your food stuffs
arrive?” “On the next ship which is due in some time in May of this year, Tim, so
I hope our building is ready by then.” “Are you kidding, with all the extra
construction guys we have here now they could have sent the employees on
this ship. We will have the whole thing wired, plumbed and ready to open in a
week. Thanks for the information and I hope you enjoy Mars.”
January 17, 2108: Abner Jacobs was busy inspecting the corn crop at
the temporary farm when a nondescript construction worker walked up to him
and handed him a small match box without saying a word. When Abner opened
the box he noticed that it was about half full of little white seeds the size of BB's.
Abner knew exactly what these were. Abner just smiled and put the box in his
pocket. The construction worker smiled back and walked away, neither of them
had said a word.
Abner walked out amongst the corn stalks and planted the seeds. He
would need to transplant them once they had germinated but for now they
needed to be in the soil.
January 17, 2108: When Tim showed up at work the next day Carter
assigned him to pick out a crew of thirty workers put someone competent in
charge and assign them to work for the farmers. Tim gathered the crews
together and said “before you start work I need thirty of you to help get the farm
set up. I think that prior farm experience might be helpful so if any of you have
some farm experience and would like to work for the farmers for a couple
weeks or for however long they need you please step over here by me.” About
twenty or so moved over behind Tim, “OK now any of you others who would like
to construct the farm house the farm lab and the animal pens please form a
group over there by the flag pole.” Another thirty moved over by the flag pole.
“Sorry folks but I only need ten of you so if you do not have plumbing or wiring
experience please return to the main group.” The thirty of them began
discussing the matter then all but ten moved back to the main group. “Now you
work group leaders take note of how many men you have lost and get together
with the other work group leaders and shuffle people around until you have the
number you need to go to work on what ever project you were working on last.”
That only took five or ten minutes and everyone was happy, Tim liked
that management style. He allowing people work where they considered
themselves to be most valuable to the project and where they would be
happiest. Maybe this management style wouldn't work with the class of people
that you have working construction jobs on Earth but it sure works out well here.
Tim addressed the two work groups and said “The new farm is going to be just
over the bridge at the back of The Company cavern. The area is a little over
three hundred twenty acres but will help keep the farm and animals all in one
place. It will also leave plenty of room for the house and barn and lab. I think
you might have to wall off the generator to keep the noise from disturbing the
farmers and the animals. Other than that the rest is up to the farmers. Put
everything where they want it and do everything they ask of you.” About then
Abner and Jennifer showed up and Tim gave them the layout. “We think the
farm should have this whole area from the river and lake to the back wall of the
cavern.” Tim told them. These forty construction people will do what ever you
ask of them to help in getting the farm set up and equipped. These thirty have
some farm experience, the other ten will construct your buildings. At that point
he introduced Abner and Jennifer to the workers and then said “Go to work.”
Tim stepped back and saw Abner begin talking with the volunteers explaining
everything that he would need to have done. One of the construction people
asked Abner to come with him. He would show them where to find the tools
and equipment they would need in the supply yard. “All of it may not be
unloaded yet but we can take what there is and start moving it over to the
farm..” Before Tim left he told Abner that if he needed anything or if he needed
more help with a big job to let him know and he would send more workers. It
now seemed to Tim that workers were the only thing on Mars that was not in
short supply.
There were other things that had been provided for the farm, the most
important of which was six large box hives of honey bees to pollinate the plants
and to provide the colonists with fresh honey. There was also an assortment of
caterpillars and even four small mulberry trees that were covered with silkworm
cocoons when the ship left Earth but by the time they arrived on Mars the
cocoons had hatched into silkworm larva.
Shortly after Tim left Abner was unpacking packets of seeds when he
came across a package of seeds labeled Ivy. Abner didn't even know there was
such a thing as Ivy seeds. He tore open the envelope and found, not seeds but
tiny dried roots. Not knowing what else to do with them and failing to appreciate
their benefit he scooped up a shovel full of fertile soil and planted them in the
corner where the generator wall met the cavern wall. By the next day Abner
had forgotten all about the Ivy. Seeing the fertile soil and noting the
depressions Abner had made with his finger when he planted the roots Sue
Yang shrugged, went over to the lake, scooped up some a bucket of water and
poured a little on the spot, figuring Abner was trying something and had been
distracted before he had watered it. The next day Sue Yang poured a little
more water out of the bucket onto the soil. By the time the bucket was empty
there were little green shoots sticking out of the ground. The odd thing about
this was that there were no grow lights shining directly on the area where the
shoots were coming up just the ordinary cave lighting and where these plants
were coming up there wasn't even much of that. Sue Yang then went and got
Abner and showed him the shoots. “These shoots are growing without the
benefit of grow lights, Abner, whatever you were trying here worked,
congratulations.” Abner had to pause and think just what he had planted there,
then he remembered the Ivy. “Oh, yeah, Sue, I thought I would try some Ivy,
there was a package of dried Ivy cuttings in among the vegetable seeds that I
had ordered rather than to just throw them away I stuck them in the ground over
here then I got busy and forgot all about them.” “Do you realize the significance
of this Abner? We have come up with a plant that we can grow anywhere in the
caverns. True you can't eat Ivy but you can sure breath it's byproduct. Ivy
spreads like crab grass so if we were to plant it everywhere it would grow
everywhere. It is nice to look at and the plants will enrich our atmosphere
immensely once they take hold.” Abner called Tim and asked him to drop by the
farm next time he was in the area.
CHAPTER - Planning the March to Utopia
January 17, 2108: That afternoon when Tim returned to Carter's office
there were three construction workers and a couple Government scientists
going over some drawings on Carters desk. “Tim, take a look at this. The big
cavern which I think we should start calling Utopia for now, is about six miles
from this wall in the Government cavern. There are smaller caverns along the
way that we are going to have to secure and pressurize before advancing and
the way I see it we are going to have to tunnel for up to two miles. Our biggest
problem is that these caverns are not all on the same level. See this long
narrow cavern right here it is deeper than the others but once we reach the floor
of this long slender cavern right here it will enter right into Utopia on the same
level. so it looks like we are going to have to tunnel down to that sliver before
we can continue. Setting the downgrade into that cavern will be a real problem.
We will have at least five, maybe six smaller caverns to secure and pressurize
before we reach Utopia .
How long do you estimate it will take us to dig two miles of tunnel
Johnson?” “Let's see” said Johnson, “if we can complete one foot of tunnel per
hour average it would take roughly ten thousand hours, that would be about
seven months of continuous tunneling if we worked around the clock. That
could vary considerably depending on soil conditions and problems that we
might be encountered in sealing off the small caverns that we go through. We
have six hundred workers now and can expect at least three hundred more
before we reach Utopia
. “I would say that our tunneling crews would have to work in Mars suits
a lot of the time. Of course once a new cavern had been pressurized they
could headquarter in that cavern. The men will need 24 hours rest after working
eight hours and we will need eight men working at all times so that would mean
a tunneling crew of 32 men. All things considered I would say we will reach
Utopia in one to two years. At least that gives a workable time frame.”
“Once a tunnel is opened it will need to be enlarged. We will need four
more crews of eight men each for this job. They should not start work on a
tunnel until the tunneling crew has moved on to the next tunneling job so they
do not get into each others way. The crews doing the enlarging can use the dirt
they remove for top soil at the farm or for fill dirt in leveling the caverns. The
tunneling crews working for breakthrough will be digging approximately eight
foot by eight foot tunnels, the second crews will be enlarging the tunnels to 25
feet wide by 20 feet high.”
“Your next Fossum, how long will it take to seal off the small caverns and
pressurize them? “Does your chart show how many fissures need to be sealed
between here and Utopia, yes there is a count here for each cavern and a total
of up to one hundred fissures but that is only an estimate. There average width
on the chart appears to be three or four feet. “I estimate that a crew can seal
one fissure per day. That takes into account that the workers can not be
exposed to the surface for more than two hours at a time. All things considered
there is probably three to four months work there if we have the materials and if
we could only have one crew working at a time.” “Why don't you explain how
you go about sealing a fissure, Dave.” “We locate the fissures that need to be
filled by placing a bright light in the cavern then going out after dark in Mars
suits and making a visual observation of where the light penetrates the surface.
Then we flag the location so that we can find it the next day. To plug the hole
we dig out around the fissure, usually an eight foot hole and down three or four
feet until we hopefully hit bedrock. Then we lay in an eight foot piece of circular
one Inch tempered plywood. We then mix the concrete and pour it into hole
about eight Inches deep. When the concrete has cured we lay down eight foot
long pieces of rebar, criss crossed and wire the joints together. we pour fresh
concrete about one foot thick then when that has cured we lay on another
course of rebar followed by another course of concrete. The rest we just fill with
Mars soil until it is level with the surface.” This will take a crew about eight hours
in working time but they can be working on other fissures while the cement is
curing. Also keep in mind that when the winds come up on the surface we
can't do any work outside. Twice a year for almost a month at a time the winds
are too strong to do any work on the surface. There will probably be times
when opening one of the caverns will be delayed for a considerable time waiting
for the wind to die down.”
“How about installing and moving the air locks can one crew keep up,
Johnson fielded that question, “That is a definite yes but they would be kept
busy. As long as we have plenty of workers we should probably assign two
crews. One crew can set the small temporary locks while the other can set the
larger permanent sliding air locks once the tunnels have been enlarged. Can
our system handle the load of pressurizing that much new space. “Certainly not
all at once but if we only had to do one small cavern per week the answer would
be yes, We have some old oxygen making equipment over in supply that could
keep the atmosphere breathable without running any risk at all. Lets say we
can handle the atmosphere problem throughout the whole system as we go but
none of what we have said so far applies to Utopia .”
“If any of the small caverns turn out to be larger than anticipated then we
will install additional atmosphere apparatus along the way. While we are at it
we might as well have several more systems on order. We do have three
backup systems in the supply yard now but it is important that we always
maintain twice as much atmosphere equipment as we need so if we have an
equipment failure we will still have atmosphere. We could install the new
systems as we go and keep ordering more back up systems from the Company.
Actually the more area that we are providing atmosphere for the safer we will
be. We should discuss our needs in this area with the government employee
who handles the atmosphere now and assign more workers to that function. If
they are not needed on a given day he can release the workers to perform other
work until he does need them but they should all be trained to install and
maintain these systems. When we reach Utopia we'll need several new
systems to maintain atmosphere in a cavern that large. I won't know just how
many until we get there and I make some calculations.”
As for our maps and our estimation of the size and shape of the caverns
we will be going through keep in mind that this information was gathered
several years ago by flying over the area and taking infrared pictures. For a
number of reasons they may not be completely accurate.
“How many men can we spare now to start digging?” “With all of the
problems that I know we will encounter, my estimate is that we will need, fifty or
more. That would cover all of the support operations. I suggest that today we
select who we want on our tunneling crews, gather our equipment and start
them out in the morning under Johnson's supervision. Our first tunnel is going
to be a little over eight hundred feet long, we have plenty of people and we can
work them four hours on and 24 hours off. We won't need to set the air tight
seal until they are in seven hundred ninety feet. Then we will set the door and
the men will have to start working in Mars suits for the last ten feet to
breakthrough.”
Johnson and Tim spent the rest of the day going over lists of employees
and picking out the men that they wanted on the first four crews. The men were
notified by cell phone that they would start tunneling the next morning. They
were then asked to join Johnson in the supply depot and start locating all the
equipment they could find. A concrete block wall was erected in front of the
tunnel site but set back 20 feet to give the men room to work. The electricians
ran power over to the site and trenches were dug to catch the debris. Any of
the soil removed would be moved to where the farm was being set up. The
farmers could use it to make topsoil or the crews could use it in the wall that
would run along the river to protect the lake and stream from being
contaminated by the crop runoff.
January 19, 2108: Among the cargo Items unloaded from Mars Supply
One was the new equipment for processing human waste. As soon as Carter
saw it and read the setup manual he set two crews to installing the equipment.
One of the Scientists looking over the equipment decided that the machine
would fit in the small cavern attached to the Government cavern that had been
used as public bath rooms. Once it had been installed men drilled a four Inch
hole down from the surface and attached a power vent. Then put an air lock on
the door leading into the Government cavern. When the machine was in use
they would shut the air lock and work in Mars suits until they had finished
processing the waste matter.
The machine separated the matter into three parts. The liquid was
processed through reverse osmosis equipment and then allowed to run off into
the crevasse where they had been dumping everything. The non
biodegradable matter, ie the plastic porta potty liners or any other non
biodegradable matter that had found it's way into the sewer system, were
compressed into bricks and spat out the front of the machine where workers
stacked them to the side of the cavern. The machine then processed the
biodegradable mass which came out as a kind of mulch which was odorless
and and only slightly damp. All harmful bacteria had been removed but the
mulch was still rich in nutrients. The men captured this material in large plastic
garbage bags. Once the machine had finished processing the batch for the day
the crew turned on the power vent to the surface and opened a vent pipe that
ran along side the air lock. It only took a few seconds to exhaust all the stale air
in the cavern. Once the air was clean they could they would close the vents
and inject a strong ammonia based deodorant into the small cavern and open
the air lock. It took three men working in Mars suits about two hours per day to
process the waste. The result was about five hundred pounds of fertile mulch
and thirty or so plastic bricks that could be very valuable as light weight
building materials.
The mulch was taken over to the farm where Abner could combine it with
mineral nitrates and other fertilizers before it was mixing it with Mars dirt to
make top soil. Abner would soon need lots of top soil.
This daily processing chore was considered to be an undesirable job.
There were plenty of volunteers when they learned that they only had to work
about a four hour day.
January 20, 2108: The farm was coming along nicely. A large farm
house, lab and barn were being constructed. This would be the only house on
Mars with a fully functional kitchen, two bathrooms and four bedrooms. The
reason for the four bedrooms was that both couples had indicated that they
were probably on Mars to spend the rest of their lives and both couples
intended to start a family. Tim really liked the farm couples and it got him to
thinking about how they were making a commitment to live out their lives on
Mars after only being here a few days.
Tim asked Abner “What was it you said you wanted to show me next time
I got over this way” “The Ivy, Tim, The Ivy, look at this stuff.” By then the little
green shoots were up almost half an Inch. This stuff is like a weed, it will grow
anywhere even in ordinary cave light, it looks pleasing to the eye, especially
against these stark cavern walls and it will improve our atmosphere, or at least
take some of the load off our atmosphere apparatus.” “Sounds good but maybe
we better discuss it with the scientists before we start spreading the stuff
around.”
That evening Tim and Carla had a long talk. “How do you feel about
Mars now Carla?” I like it so far, it seems more vibrant and alive and it certainly
has a low crime rate. The work that I do is the same as I was doing on Earth
but the people are nicer to work with and the way The Company bends over
backward to provide us anything we ask for is wonderful. The only thing that
bothers me is that my biological clock is running and I would like to start a
family. We could start one here on Mars but there would be fines and penalties,
you know.” “I want a family also Carla, in a little over a year we will break into
Utopia Cavern and even if it takes two more years to seal and pressurize, we
are still looking at living in Utopia when our kids start school.”
“There we will have regular streets, with electric cars darting around, we
will have schools and churches and businesses. Bob told me that one of the
other prime investors in Mars Colony, Inc. is the family that owns all the biggest
store chain on Earth but they want to hold off opening up on Mars until Utopia is
ready”.
“OK Carla, no more contraceptives. This is our home now and I love the
place. When our contract is up we can either renew once or stay on Mars and
go into business. I already know that The Company and Government are going
to sell off most of the real estate in Utopia to developers, businesses and
private citizens. If things go as I see them going we will be in on the ground
floor of the nicest city in the solar system. Besides I think I would have a lot
more difficulty in adjusting to Earth gravity than I had in adjusting to Mars
gravity.”

CHAPTER – Earth is having problems


Never in history had the difference between the developed nations and
the third world been so pronounced.
Nuclear proliferation treaties had not been effective. There were, by the
year 2100 more than sixty nations on Earth that possessed nuclear weapons.
Some had delivery systems and some just relied suicide bombers that carried
some sort of nuclear devise in suit cases.
Around 2050 coal liquefaction had been perfected to the point where
100% clean burning, non polluting liquid fuel could be made from coal. Many
countries on Earth that did not have petroleum had enormous coal reserves.
There was no longer any demand for petroleum or products made from
petroleum.
Lithium Ion batteries had been perfected and powered all transportation
equipment, they could be recharged in under ten minutes.
Canada and Australia were the only two remaining food exporting
countries. All the other developed countries had to scramble to keep up with
feeding their own burgeoning populations.
So many people in the third world were dying of malnutrition and
starvation every year that the total population of the planet peaked at nine
billion and had begun to recede. Many of these third world countries had
acquired nuclear weapons.
With the loss of oil revenue the middle east had become even more of a
powder keg. Because of the wealth created during the years when petroleum
dominated Earth's fuel needs there remained several thousand people in the
middle east who had a net worth in excess of fifty million dollars. The rest of the
people living in the area lived in disparate abject poverty. Death from
malnutrition and starvation numbered in the thousands every day. The very rich
managed to place the blame for the unfortunate circumstances of the poor onto
the developed nations. Jihad was more popular than it had ever been. It was
said by one Western Philosopher of those in the middle east who had not died
of starvation, “Hatred of the West was the only thing that was keeping them
alive.”
Africa had not fared as badly as you might imagine. Disease and hunger
had taken so many that the land was beginning to recover. The Africa of 2107
once again began to resemble the Africa that the White Man had first visited
seven hundred years earlier.
The story in Asia could be summed up in one word, overpopulation.
During the twenty first century many Asian nations had pushed their way to the
forefront in the areas of science, industry and world trade, only to fail because
they were unable to control their growing populations. No matter how
industrious they were they just could not feed all their people.
This was the situation on the planet Earth in the year 2107. The
international situation had become a ticking time bomb.

CHAPTER – Swap Meet and Currency

January 21, 2108: Back on Mars work had started on the first of the new
tunnels and had progressed smoothly. This first tunnel would run eight hundred
feet.
The new arrivals were extremely qualified people with a good attitude. It
was difficult for Tim to find enough work to keep them all busy until they made
the first breakthrough. The air lock had been set where the dig had started.
The dig had not turned up any new diamonds but they were finding many
semiprecious stones that would make great jewelry.
SWAP MEET
A lot of people had accumulated things that they no longer needed or
used so they decided to hold the first swap meet on Mars. It was really a kind
of pitiful beginning to what was to become a Martian tradition. Surplus personal
property would always be in short supply even after stores began selling
merchandise. There were dozens of vendors and hundreds of buyers but
everyone needed change for a $100.00 bill.
CURRENCY PROBLEMS
Most people had plenty of cash and no place to spend it. Making change
was a problem for those buying or selling anything. Most of the cash was in
large bills. There was a real shortage of small bills. Almost no one missed the
coins because nothing on Mars would be sold for odd change for a while yet. At
least not until Burger Boy's opened. Bob told Tim that when the next ship
arrived he would have three million Dollars in change but that wouldn't be until
May. Until then people were just writing out IOU's and signing them. Then that
person would pass the IOU along to someone else and sometimes the IOU that
someone had written would find its way back to the one that wrote it. Some
people kept track of their outstanding IOU's and some didn't. Everybody took
IOU's willingly because that was about the only medium of exchange other than
large bills. People began to get concerned about all the money they had
stashed in their unlocked homes.

CHAPTER – A bank is organized


February 5, 2108: Alan Jeffery, and Remar Otton two of the men who
had completed their Government contracts and remained on Mars as private
citizens decided that they had just figured out the perfect small business to go
into. They arranged through Thelma to lease a lot in The Company cavern
business district right next to where the Burger Boy's building stood. They went
to work building a store front with their own hands. They were able to negotiate
for and acquire from the Government a surplus safe and a good supply of rebar
reinforcing rods used to reinforce concrete. They paid a couple of men that
worked as welders to come over and weld a metal frame on all four sides of
their store front then they used Mars cement to cover the walls. Outside the
walls they stacked the usual cement blocks and when they were finished they
bought enough scrap metal to have a front door welded together and hinges
made. When they were through they owned the most in-penetrable building in
the colony. They then told Thelma and Walter that wanted some kind of charter
making their business legal. There was a lot of consternation all around but
they finally got their permission from The Company and from the Government.
The First Colonial Bank of Mars was open for business. The money poured in,
they soon had over two million dollars on deposit in their safe. They did not pay
any interest but rather charged their customers a small fee for the service of
safeguarding their money. They were able to acquire some surplus computer
equipment from the Government and started printing checks which were really
just IOU's in small amounts and selling them at the bank.
“In case you hadn't noticed Alan we don't know diddle squat about
running a bank.” “I realize that Remar, but we are both intelligent men and we
can learn.” “Here is what I propose, lets advertise and hire an agent/consultant
on Earth that does know about banking. We can then have him locate a
correspondence course from some banker training school that will be willing to
email us all of our study material and send up the most important books on
banking on the next supply ship”
They both approved of that plan and emailed an ad to one of the New
York newspapers to run in their Classified section under help wanted. They
were flooded with emails which they read aloud to each other then selected the
three best qualified and sent them an email requesting a full resume. They
eventually settled on the best qualified candidate and hired him for just a
nominal consulting fee. They then found a qualified detective agency and ran a
thorough background check on the man. He came out squeaky clean. Then
the email started flying back and forth from them and their consultant.
Their agent had spoken with one of his old professors at Harvard
University school of business who was willing to undertake educating them via
email. Shortly study plans began to arrive by email. They had a lot of time on
their hands so they started knocking out the lessons at a record pace. Within
six months they had the books that he had sent up on the supply ship and were
both becoming banking experts. They had their agent pick out a good selection
of banking business equipment and had that sent up. They began to offer more
services at the bank. They arranged a form that their clients could sign
directing that all future payments for wages were to be deposited in First
Colonial bank. Since they had all the latest banking equipment they had to add
on another room to the bank. They found two women on Mars who had once
held responsible positions in banks on Earth and persuaded them to come in
after working on their regular jobs and handle the paper flow at the bank. They
had established a correspondent bank relationship with big name stock and
bond brokerage firms and with the largest bank in the United States. Things got
a little sticky when they applied to become an FDIC member bank. There were
just so many things about First Colonial that did not fit the FDIC mold. It took
them almost six months but with the help of two U.S. Senators finally began to
print on the bottom of all their forms the magic words “Member FDIC” They
could now exchange bank drafts with their New York Correspondent bank and
employed a trust officer at their correspondent bank to temporarily handle
investments for their bank. They knew that as soon as there was a demand for
borrowed money on Mars they would be financing that development through
their bank but until then the money would be earning a good return invested on
Earth. At that point they began to pay interest on deposits and more money
poured in. The workers on Mars liked having their nest eggs on Mars where
they could keep an eye on them. By the time Utopia was sealed they hoped
that their little bank could justifiably claim that they were holding over one billion
dollars in deposits.
The Agent that they had hired in New York had no interest in moving to
Mars but he recommended a young man that had excellent credentials. First
Colonial hired the man and his wife, bit the bullet and paid the one million dollar
fee to have them moved to Mars. When Abe and Lilly Schuman arrived on
Mars the bank began to look a little like and operate a lot like a real bank. Lilly
was installed as the head teller and cashier. Abe was given the title of Manager,
Abe also took on the duties of loan officer. Allen and Remar ended up doing
pretty much what Abe told them to do.
With the arrival of the second ship after opening the bank they received
two million dollars in ones and fives which they promptly made available for
circulation on Mars. They bought the bank drafts that they had sold with small
bills. In the meantime when the first ship arrived after opening the bank Burger
Boy's had received their three million dollars in change which they deposited in
the bank so now there was more money in circulation than they would need
until Utopia opened up. The people on Mars tended to think in terms of all
progress and development as “When Utopia Opens”.
Paul, Tim and Carla thought it was a godsend having the bank here
because since Mars wages were not taxable the IRS paid little attention to
transfers of cash to and from banks on Earth and First Colonial Bank on Mars.
Long before Utopia opened Tim and Carla had over a million dollars on deposit.
The bankers were happy because they were the only bank in the system that
didn't have to anticipate the arrival of inspectors from the FDIC, although they
were a member bank it was just too damned expensive to send an FDIC
inspector up to Mars to inspect or audit First Colonial. Neither the FDIC nor the
bank wanted sensitive information traveling back and forth by email so they
were largely left alone. It also might be noted that the FDIC had little doubt
about the solvency of First Colonial Bank.

CHAPTER – First Breakthrough into Paradise


February 10, 2108: The drillers broke through into the first of the new
caverns. The Talk Show host on Radio MARS interrupted all the music stations
“Guess What Folks, We have a breakthrough. Stay tuned to your talk radio
station for all the details.”
There was much fanfare in the community. Special meals were served
and there was a general celebration. That one thing was still lacking but they
managed to make a gala day of it anyway. The day of the breakthrough Thelma
declared a holiday and gave everyone the rest of the day off, except for the
cooks and a few other key people. It really wasn't all that great to have the rest
of the day off, it was almost quitting time anyway.
When cavern was opened the workers were taken aback by it's
awesome beauty, unlike the existing caverns it was populated by stalagmites,
stalactites and majestic columns. It must have been broad daylight on the
surface of the planet because the effect of the sunlight trickling through the
fissures was gorgeous.
Stalactites are formed by the deposition of calcium carbonate and other
minerals, which is precipitated from mineralized water solutions. The
corresponding formation on the floor underneath a stalactite is known as a
stalagmite. Given enough time, these formations can meet, resulting in a
formation known as a column.
Loud noises and voices created echo's that vibrated off the walls. There
were several flowing rivers and streams and magnificent little lakes dotted the
floor. The cavern was only one mile wide where they were crossing but faded
off into the horizon at both sides as far as their most powerful portable lights
could penetrate. Subsequent measurements indicated that this new cavern
covered 14 square miles at floor level. Tim, standing there awe struck, in his
space suit knew that this was to be a national park and first class recreation
area. It was as close as you could get on Mars to a forest. Later that day when
they were back in the Government cavern Tim described it to Carter, Thelma
and Walter. Tim then took the three of them on a guided tour of the cavern.
They took along a lighting crew with the best portable lights available in the
colony. Thelma remarked, ”This place looks like paradise.“ ”So it was that
Paradise Park got it's name.”
In their exploration of the cavern, up against one wall they came across a
small cave. In front of the cave they found the remnants of a fire pit. On further
examination of the site they found a dozen or more petroglyph's depicting a
hunt. The hunters all had two arms and two legs. The animal they hunted
looked like a cross between a bison and an elephant.
“This is fantastic, do you realize that we are looking at the first evidence
ever found that proves that manlike beings inhabited this planet at some ancient
time.
Walter immediately tried to call someone on his cell phone but there was
no service available. They scurried back to the Government cavern and Walter
placed his call. The scientist who answered, upon hearing what they had found,
called six or seven other scientists and a photographer. Walter told the lighting
crew to take a break but remain where they were.
An hour or so went by before seven people in Mars suits approached
from the Government housing area. The entire party returned to the place
where they had found the artifacts. The scientists were ecstatic. You could just
sense that this was the reason that they had signed on to work on Mars in the
first place was the hope of finding something like this. They had the
photographer take dozens of pictures from every angle then they took samples
of material from the fire pit for carbon age dating. At that point Tim, Carter,
Thelma and Walter took their leave. “This place seems to be in good hands so
we are going to have dinner, Thelma informed them. The scientists hardly
noticed their departure.
After dinner Tim went over to MARS-TV and told Rusty about the find
and the cave. Rusty had already heard about the find but hadn't had time to go
inspect the site for himself before he had to go on the air with the local news.
He invited Tim to stick around and be his guest on the show. Tim was a little
uneasy being on camera but he stayed and described what they had found to
the entire community. “For the first time the news from here is going to
dominate the news on Earth for quite a while.” he told Tim after the show. “I am
now going to grab a photographer and get some pictures myself and then get
this on the internet. We are going to be famous, Tim.” Rusty sounded so
excited that Tim had to smile.
For the two days following the discovery all of the networks on Earth did
carry Tim's description of the find. After that they started carrying the opinions
of Scientists and Mars management people. After about a week an important
political assassination occurred in Germany and the media moved on to
greener pastures.
In the months that followed they would seal and pressurize the remaining
caverns en route to Utopia . They had already chosen the name of Cavern City
as the name of the Capital City to be built in Utopia.
February 16, 2108: The crew started tunneling the next tunnel and it was
to be a whopper, 940 feet with an offset to the right. The work was miserable
because they were still working in their Mars suits. No one liked working in
those Mars suits. The temperature in the unpressurized cavern was just above
freezing but the suits were heated and well insulated. It was just that they were
so clumsy to move around in.
A week went by and the tunnel was in about one hundred feet when one
of the workers summoned the crew chief. “Joe here is acting funny, you better
get him back to the clinic and have the doc check him over. Two men lead and
then carried Joe back through the airlock then got him out of his suit. By this
time he was unconscious. They carried him to the clinic and the doctors
dropped what they were doing and went to work on him. Dr. Rivera
immediately took over the case. “Thanks, Guys we will give him a complete
examination and try and work up a diagnosis but in the meantime I suggest that
you have your crew chief get everyone out of that cavern and out of their Mars
Suits until we know just what we are dealing with here.
February 17, 2108: Tim heard about Joe's mysterious ailment on talk
radio. The next morning after breakfast Tim stopped by the clinic to see how
Joe was getting along and Juan told Tim that he had passed away shortly after
being brought in. Juan also said that another member of the community had
come down with the same ailment. The good news was that this person was
working on the surface in a Mars suit. Joe's autopsy showed that he had died
from inhaling Carbon Dioxide. Dr Rivera scanned the new patient for signs of
Carbon Dioxide poisoning and bingo he was suffering from the same thing.
They then tested the Mars Suits these two men were wearing and they tested
OK. “We think you have been inhaling Carbon Dioxide and that is why you are
sick” Dr. Rivera told his patient. “No honest Dr. I didn't breathe in and I had my
helmet off for less than a minute.” “Why, in God's name did you take it off in the
first place Mr Salva?” Because it was closing in on me, I just couldn't resist
taking it off for just a few seconds and I didn't breathe in while it was off.”
Mystery solved, he had his helmet off for less than a minute while he held his
breath then when he put it back on he had to take a deep breath before the suit
had a chance to clean the Carbon Dioxide out of the helmet. Tim put out a
memo to all personnel wearing Mars suits in unpressurized atmosphere, that if
you became overcome with claustrophobia while wearing your suit, no matter
how Inconvenient it was return immediately to the nearest pressurized
atmosphere before removing your helmet. He explained that they had recently
had one death and one serious illness from workers doing this. Once Tims
memo and the grapevine word of mouth got out then they had no more
problems with this mysterious affliction. Talk radio discussed little else that day.
February 25, 2108: The eighth day of tunneling. They ran a pressure
test and Paradise passed with flying colors. Late on February 26 Paradise had
been pressurized and atmosphere was introduced. Tomorrow the men could
work without suits. If there was a breach they would have plenty of time to
dawn their Mars suits before the atmosphere all escaped.
February 26, 2108: The crews assigned to enlarge tunnels went to work
on the first tunnel, the one that ran from the government cavern to Paradise.
Tunnel enlarging proved to be a more time consuming task than digging the
tunnel in the first place. Much of the work had to be done by hand and
wherever they found the walls or ceiling of the tunnel was of loose material it
had to be concrete reinforced. What worked best was having three crews at a
time working on enlarging and stabilizing the tunnels.
When the crews finished enlarging the tunnel it looked very professional.
It had a paved highway for a floor that allowed for two lanes of vehicular traffic.
Everything that needed reenforcement had been reinforced with concrete and
rebar. The surfaces were all smooth and the tunnel was lit with a bank of lights
that ran down the top. There was a pedestrian walking path on one side with
additional lights spaced four feet apart. The largest power equipment on Mars
could easily navigate the tunnel once it had been finished.
March 1, 2108: Tim, Carla, Juan and Lupe were becoming fond of Mars
sports and looked forward to a game of shuffle board every evening. The four
courts in the government cavern were adequate for the three hundred people
that were on the planet before Tims group had arrived but it seemed as though
recently they were always busy in the evenings. Tim and Juan finally gave up
waiting for a court after an hour. Tim checked around and found that the
croquet courts the situation was the same.
March 2, 2108: Tim discussed the matter with Carter before morning
muster. “Carter we need more croquet and shuffle board courts, the ones we
have are always busy, I was thinking that there is plenty of room in Paradise for
such facilities as well as an additional gymnasium. If you have any surplus
crews could some of them be assigned to constructing a new recreation
facility?” “Never volunteer Tim, you just found yourself a job. Once you have
the new facility functioning you can dismantle the old facilities in the
government cavern. I think we have some extra equipment for those sports in
the supply yard but you will probably have to order additional equipment from
the company.”
After muster Carter and another man accompanied Tim to Paradise
cavern. “Carter, look at this hot pool and this warm river, if this water is safe
perhaps the people could use it for relaxing baths and if that stream is safe
maybe it would support fish. We could always breed the fish in enclosed ponds
then move them to this stream once they were too large to fit through the exit
mesh. That would give us two uses, we could go fishing when we were off duty
and we could harvest the fish for the mess hall. We could also raise fish in the
river and lake in The Company cavern now that it is heated.” “The fish for The
Company cavern are already halfway here from Earth.
Carter walked up. “Frank here and I were just coming to inspect the pool.
Frank has his water testing kit with him, any more great suggestions?”
“Yes this where I would like to put the new recreation center and gym,
that way we could incorporate the hot pool with the other recreational facilities.”
“Suits me Tim, we could end up with a first class facility here.”
At muster Carter asked for volunteers to move and enlarge the sports
center to Paradise. Fifteen people that were not working on anything else at
the moment volunteered. Carter then announced that until further notice
anyone who had run out of work should report to Tim in the Paradise cavern to
see if he needed any additional help.
Tim decided to put the new recreation area on the other side of the
parking lot by the spa. The new gym would be integrated into the recreation
area. Paradise was rapidly becoming a recreational facility.
At least once and sometimes as many as three times a day Tim would
get a phone call from Carter asking him to check on the progress of the
tunneling crew and find out if they needed anything or Carter might ask him to
check on the tables in the dining room, there had been some complaints of
benches that did not feel solid when you sat on them, or Tim would be asked to
check up on the cement block production on the surface. One thing after
another Carter was asking Tim to handle for him and Carter was seldom seen
out in the field. He could always be found in his office, knee deep in paper
work.
On several occasions Carter had asked Tim to handle the morning
muster. He had a clever way of asking, he would start the phone conversation
after Tim answered by saying, “Here is what I need to have you do when you
call muster in the morning, Tim,” then Carter would start listing everything that
he wanted Tim to do.” Tim was becoming Carters assistant by default. Carter
just kept putting Tim in charge of projects.
The recreation center turned out to be a bigger job than Tim had
anticipated. At times Tim had as many as thirty five people working on the
project. Tim was constantly being called away to handle some pressing matter
for Carter. Tim divided the people working on the project in Paradise into two
groups then had the crews pick a crew chief for each crew. Tim delegated
responsibility to the crew chiefs to handle things when Carter had him out doing
other things.
May 15, 2008: “This is looking really great Tim, what do you want me to
work on today?” “I am sure that we will think of more things as we go along
Rob but for now we have about completed everything that I had on the plan that
Carter approved. Besides the spa and the warm river we now have a nine hole
chip and put golf course, ten shuffle board courts ten croquet courts and ten
horseshoe pits. There are even public bathrooms and a new gym. We need
more equipment but it's all on order.”
No longer did people say, “let's go over to the Paradise cavern,” now
they just said, “Let's go to the park.”
May 16, 2008: Abner was inspecting the Paradise cavern. All of the
improvements had been made in the large center and to the left of where the
tunnel entered. That was the beautiful part of the cavern. He noticed that
beyond the tunnel entrance and off to the right the ceiling dropped off sharply.
There was, at the far end, off to the right an area of approximately two square
miles where the ceiling ranged in height from forty to fifty feet off the cavern
floor. The floor was almost level. There were no stalagmites or stalactites at
this end of the cavern. There was a stream of cool clear water dividing the area
down the center. Abner got the picture instantly. Here was the future home of
the orchard. At the far end of the area, the approximately one square mile that
lay behind the stream the air temperature was noticeably warmer. Here, he
thought would be the place where he would raise tropical plants.
Abner got on the phone and asked Tim “Where are right now, good
buddy?” Tim said “I am over doing some finishing touches to the recreation
area.” “When you finish there would you mind skipping down to the small end
of the cavern, there is something I want to show you.”
“This is what I have in mind for this area, Tim.” Abner then went on to
explain his vision of the orchard and the tropical plant farm. “Here is what I
propose, Tim, lets build another farm right here in this two square mile area,
another farm house, barn and everything. The Yang's could move over here
and tend these plants. The job has gotten too big for the six of us at the old
farm already. I have been thinking of asking you to assign more permanent
people as farmers but I didn't know where to house them. It is important that
the people working full time on the farm live on the farm. What I would like to
see is four people to take the Yang's place at the old farm, that would give us a
crew of six full time permanent farmers. Then we will need four more people to
live here on this side with the Yang's and tend the orchards and the tropical
plants.”
“Do you already have people in mind to fill these jobs, Abner?” “As a
matter of fact I do, I have kept a close eye on the people that you have detailed
to the farm since it opened and I could give you the list of names any time you
want them.” “You can give me the list today, right now if you like. Figure out
how many people you can keep busy for the next month, let me know the
number and the skills you need and I will assign them to you in the morning at
muster. You can keep them as long as you have work for them. Surplus labor
is my biggest problem right now. It goes without saying that I will need Walter,
Thelma, Carter and George to consent to the project and have a scientific crew
approve it for environmental impact but I know already that I will get approval
and the scientists are also looking for projects. I can get some of them on it
today.”
Tim was delighted to have this project. It gave him something for the
people to do. He put a call in right then for Carter, Walter, Thelma and George
to see if they were available. They were all available and said they would meet
Tim and Abner there in less than an hour.
While they were waiting Tim and Abner explored the area further and
made several more suggestions to each other.
Once they had all arrived, Tim and Abner showed them the area for the
proposed project and described the ideas that they had been kicking around.
Everyone seemed thrilled with the idea. George said “When the other scientists
and I were looking at the cave find we made a quick pass through here and one
of the other scientists had remarked, 'this is where we should have put the farm'
I am sure you will have no objection from the environmental establishment.“
Within two hours it was a done deal. There were quite a few items that
had to be ordered from the Company but they would arrive in December when
Mars Runner made it's first call on Mars.
May 17, 2008: At muster Tim called out the names of the eight people
that Abner had given him. They were four married couples. Tim knew they
were all anxious to work on the farm full time but he asked them anyway, just for
the record. Tim suggested that they work out the living arrangements with the
other farmers. Of course they could not move in until the new farm house was
completed.
Tim then asked for the 100 volunteers that Abner had said he could use
and assigned them to the task of building the new far for as long as they were
needed.
Abner told the group at muster that within less than four years Mars
would be producing most of the food consumed on Mars including bananas,
pine apple, coffee and coconuts. There was one more big food group to go,
grain. They would find the ideal spot but it would have to be in some yet
unseen cavern.

CHAPTER – Tims promotion


May 20, 2008: Carter and Tim were having a cup of coffee at the mess
hall that evening while Tim was waiting for Carla to finish. Carter said, “Tim how
would you like to have my job as Superintendent?” “Sure but where would that
leave you Carter?” “ The reason that you have been running all the operations
for the last few weeks is that I have been evaluating how you were able to
handle the job. No one other than me knows this but Walter and Thelma are
leaving Mars on the Next ship. You are a relative new comer to Mars but you
have performed perfectly. You have done everything that I have ask of you. All
I have to do is give you instructions in generalities, and never have I had to
spell out the specifics of what I wanted done. I have been offered Thelma's job
by The Company and I have selected you to take my job as Superintendent of
Construction.
That means that when we reach Utopia it will be up to you to make the
construction decisions. You have everything it takes, Tim, you have your
engineering degree, your background is clean and I feel I can rely on you. The
job is yours if you want it.” Of course I want it Carter, I just don't don't know what
to say”.
“There is one more thing you may want to consider, you have mentioned
that you intend to stay on Mars and have a family. As you know that you can
buy your way out of your contract with The Company for five hundred thousand
dollars but if you want I can get The Company to release Carla from her
contract. This is a one time deal, it is not something that will be an option for
you in the future but it can come now as part of your promotion package.” “Let
me talk to Carla about it and see what she says” Tim answered. By then Carla
had finished her clean up work at the kitchen and approached them. “Carla,
lets go home there is something we need to discus.”
Carla and Tim went Round and Round all evening pointing out the
advantages and disadvantages of the offer. In the end they decided that Tim's
raise to $40, 000.00 per month would more than make up for her loss of Income
and she could have a full time job at the bank working for Alan and Remar until
they started their family. When she had to quit work to give berth to their first
child she would not be fined. “I don't know anything about working in a bank,
Tim.” “ That's OK, neither did Alan or Remar when they opened First Colonial.
Now they are real bankers.” So it was decided that Carla should be released
from her company contract.
Tim picked Hal Johnson as his assistant. The man was so competent
and knowledgeable that you just couldn't overlook him. The men all seemed to
like him, maybe his only shortcoming was that he was not a visionary like Tim
and Carter.
Alan and Remar were thrilled to have a real live employee that they did
not have to pay air fare for. Carla told them, “I know nothing about banking or
any other kind of paper work, I have been in food service since high school.”
“That was our situation but we obtained all we needed to learn from email
exchanges with Harvard School of Business and these books here in our office.
I propose that we first put you on a training program using the same materials
that we used. I printed hard copies of all our lessons and I will feed them to you
as fast as you can absorb them.” We can't afford to pay you more than $500.00
per week while you are in training but as soon as you start working we will pay
the same wage you have been earning.
March 27, 2008: Carla began training for a career in banking. At first it
was all very confusing and at times she thought that she would never get it.
Then little by little she made progress. She got to the point that when she read
something she could see how it related to something she had previously
learned. Luckily she had already learned to touch type on a keyboard and use
a ten key adding machine. After the initial shock she began to progress rapidly.

CHAPTER – Mars Supply Two Docks


May 22, 2108: The next ship arrived, Thelma and Walter announced
their retirement on Rusty's nightly news show and announced that Carter
Fredrick would be taking Thelma's place and that Paul Silverman would be
replacing Walter Potts, as Facility Director .
That didn't set well with Tim, “I am the new Superintendent of
Construction and Paul is the new Facility Director and we are in cahoots on a
slightly shady business deal. We will never speak to Paul of this deal again.
We will just take our money out of the Swiss account in periodic small amounts
and forget I ever found those damned rocks, Carla.”
Tim, Carla Paul and Carter greeted the arrivals to Mars and gave them
the tour. On the tour Tim pointed out the entrance to Paradise. He told them
that this tunnel leads about eight hundred feet to the most beautiful cavern on
Mars. The cavern is so beautiful that we have decided to set it aside for
recreational purposes. Had you rather explore Paradise on your own after I
show you around or do you want to tour it now?” There was some mumbling
among the new arrivals but the consensus seems to have been that they would
prefer to explore Paradise on their own. They were more interested, at the
moment in seeing where they would be working, eating and sleeping.
There was only one real surprise passenger that arrived on the ship.
Rusty introduced him as, “Charles Rasmussen, do you prefer Charles or
Chuck?” Rusty asked. “I prefer Charley,” Rusty went on to tell the viewers that
Charley worked for Super Stores. He was sent as a site locater for a new
Super Store. “ I am here to pick out a site for a temporary store and to have an
early choice for a prime location in Cavern City when that becomes available.
We need the temporary location just to have a place to store all the
merchandise that is aboard this ship and that will be aboard all future ships.”
Once the store is open I will stay on as the manager. The only other Super
Store employees that came with me on this ship are two retail managers.
Additional Company employees will arrive on future flights. I would also like to
tell your viewers that Super Stores is hiring. I know there are not many people
on Mars looking for work but anyone who is nearing completion of their
commitment and wants to stay on the planet could do a lot worse than to figure
Super Stores into their future plans.”
“Within six to eight weeks we expect to have the temporary store open
for business. Before you even ask the answer is yes, Super Store is one of the
principals in Mars Colony, Inc. and before you ask the answer is No we do not
expect to make a profit from this store for many years, if ever. Just like Burger
Boy's we are here for the publicity and the good news for you folks our prices
will not exceed the highest price that we sell a given item for on Earth, plus, of
course an additional freight surcharge.”
“We are aware of the situation on Mars, that you have very few people,
you are making lots of money and you have no place to spend it. We are also
aware that your household's are lacking almost everything we sell.”
Rusty interviewed his guest and the two employees of Super Store for a
couple minutes then announced
“We have some more news that we just learned today. The U.S.
Government has just christened the new space ship Mars Runner. It is as large
as Mars Supply One and Mars Supply Two combined. It will cut travel time
between Earth and Mars by as much as 65%. It will start arriving here from
three to five times a year, with the first arrival scheduled for Late December of
this year. The two existing Mars Supply Ships have been sold to Mars Colony
Inc. and will be strictly commercial vessels from now on. We have just been
supplied with two new Shuttle aircraft bringing our fleet to five planes. We will
need that size fleet to unload Mars Runner when it gets here in December. The
next arrival of a Mars Supply ship will get in here around the middle of
September. So if you need to order anything from Earth do it now if you want it
in September, you still have a few days to get a rush order in.”
The Mars supply ships followed a policy of loading all priority items first
then loading the rest of the available space on the ship with wood. On Mars
there was always a critical shortage of wood of all kinds.
May 23, 2108: Tim visited the farm. The first crops had just been
harvested. The grow lights were all hung so that they could be raised or
lowered as needed for various crops. The four farmers were busy but Abner
took a few minutes to talk to Tim. There is one more thing I need Tim, Abner
said, “There is this a construction worker who we have been reluctant to
release because he has been of so much help to us, he still is, he cares for the
animals and takes that burden off of us so we can manage the crops. This is
the man, Darwin Stead, what are the chances of having Darwin pertinently
assigned to the farm?” Tim approved the reassignment on the spot. Then
Abner continued, “We will also need a couple more bedrooms and another
bathroom added to the house do Darwin can marry his finance, Helen, and
remain near the animals in his care.” “Sure,” Tim added, you can use the
people now assigned or Just show up at muster in the morning and I will assign
a crew for the room additions.”
As soon as Tim left Darwin and Abner went back into the Lab and lit up a
smoke, “See what did I tell you Darwin, it was a piece of cake. I knew you were
good people the minute you handed me that little box of seeds.”
May 24, 2108: Tim mentioned to Hal before the morning muster “We will
need to install the new generator in a hot area that has running water nearby. I
don't know of any other spots like that in The Company cavern or the
Government cavern. We have checked Paradise cavern for hot spots. There
are some that might work but their location would detract from the beauty of the
cavern and the recreation center. Worse case scenario we could locate the
new generator right beside the old one but then we would have the problem of
running the lines too far to get electricity where we need it.” Carter made his
decision, “ We are only using about thirty percent of the power we are now
generating. I want to take a look at the next cavern before doing anything. We
still have the original diesel generator on standby.”
Tim then told Hal, “The new ship arrival has brought atmosphere alarms
and emergency closures that would drop down when mounted in a tunnel if the
pressure at one end became lower than at the other end. People could still get
through these emergency closures but once the last person was safely through
the seal could be made permanent. A little atmosphere would still be lost but
the closures would give them time to install air locks while the air was still
breathable.” Hal promised that the new safety items would be installed within
the week.
The sensor on the atmosphere making apparatus constantly read the
atmosphere from various spots and adjusted the output accordingly. The
atmosphere in the caverns was not exactly like that of Earth because it was
basically just nitrogen and oxygen which meant that it could be made from
water and mineral nitrates. In the caverns it seemed to improve the
atmosphere to keep it a little higher in oxygen than on Earth. Earth's
atmosphere contains a little CO2 and so does the atmosphere in the caverns
because without any CO2 plants would not grow and photosynthesis would not
work and without nitrates plants could not grow. Growing plants require nitrates
in the soil to enable them to feed nitrogen into the atmosphere.
May 25, 2108: Tim held the afternoon muster. As promised the
Company had sent three hundred more workers on the Mars Supply Two. This
brought the total company workforce to over 900. The new men didn't show up
because Hal had given a week to get settled in. There were only about 50
workers that did show up but Tim just didn't have enough jobs lined up to keep
them all busy. There were no work orders on the board, Tim had checked. All
the other crews were already working on jobs they had been assigned.
There was another thousand fruit tree seedlings that needed to be
planted so lacking anything better to say Tim told half of the men to take the
seedlings over to the new orchard in the Paradise cavern which would
henceforth be referred to as the orchard. “See if Sue or Dan can put you to
work. “If Sue and Dan don't have any work for you check with Abner at the
farm, if he doesn't need you then you can check in with supply and see if they
have anything to keep you busy. The remaining twenty five men he sent to the
supply yard to help the supply yard crew. What we need, Tim thought to
himself is an administrative assistant to keep track of all these workers and all
the projects and jobs that need to be done.
Abner called Tim and told him that he could use twenty five or thirty
people the next day at the orchard to plant the new trees but they were not
ready to do anything with them yet. Abner said that the people had brought the
trees over to the orchard. We are rigging some temporary grow lights at the
orchard and preparing top soil, we have plenty of help for that. “Send the
planters tomorrow morning, Tim.”
May 29, 2108: All three hundred of the new workers showed up for the
morning muster along with 150 of the regular crews that had finished the
projects they had been working on. Once the workers had assembled Tim
asked if any of them had tree planting experience. Twenty people held up their
hands, will you people report to the orchard, they have some trees that need to
be planted. If anyone here knows of any jobs that need tending to you can go
and get to work now. In a day or two we will have some kind of a table of
organization working, it won't always be this disorganized. For today the rest of
you can go to the supply yard and help get that organized. If any of you see
anything constructive that needs to be done then feel free to do it today. You
new arrivals can plan on March 30, being your first regular workday. Hal just
stood there behind Tim and didn't say a word.
“I need two other volunteers this morning, one person that is
exceptionally skilled with computers to fill a systems administrator position that
we have open, the other is for a person to do data input. The person that we
want for data input should have extensive experience at data base
management. If you are interested in either of these positions please see me
after this muster. Tomorrow things will be different. After the majority of the
workers had all departed Tim told the tree planters to elect a leader then go to
the farm manager at the orchard and tell him that you are there to plant trees.
Tim felt a little embarrassed that this mornings muster had been so
disorganized.
Once the tree planters left to go to work nine people remained. Tim
turned his attention toward them. “I assume you nine are the ones interested in
the computer jobs.” They all nodded their heads in assent. “Lets go over to the
dining room and get a cup,” Tim said as he turned and headed for the mess
hall. All nine traipsed along behind. Tim walked in, filled his cup and seated
himself at a long table for ten. He appeared to have his attention focused
elsewhere but was surreptitiously keeping an eye on the body language of his
five volunteers. One by one the volunteers poured a cup of coffee and took a
seat at the table. Tim started “I would like to have you folks decide between
yourselves who should have these two positions. I can tell you that we have
had the same systems administrator for the last ten years. She finished her
contract with the Government and is departing on the Mars Supply Two to
return to Earth. She will have about three days to break in her replacement.
The Government abolished her position so the Company authorized me to fill it
with a Company employee. *
“The data base management and data input job is a new position. The
person selected should have enough experience to establish a data base of the
twelve hundred people that now work for the Government and for the Company.
It should be arranged so that if I want twelve plumbers you can print out a list of
all plumbers with a thumbnail on each of them so I can just call the ones I want
that I think are the best qualified for the job I have in mind. If Carter, the
Company Manager wants to know the cubic footage of the new Paradise
cavern you can provide him with that information right away. In short I would
like all of the information on this facility and the personnel that are employed
here at our fingertips. How you handle the selections are up to you. You will
just have to talk it out and decide among yourselves who among you could best
handle these jobs. I will be back in an hour or so to see how you are making
out. If you make your selections before I get back call me on your cell phone.”
With that Tim got up and left the room. Before he went out the door he
looked back, they were all just sitting there with a dumbfounded look on their
faces. They had never heard of a job selection process that worked this way.
When he was out the door he called Hilda on her phone. “Hilda, I need a
favor, I left nine people sitting near your desk in the back of the dining room. I
told them to .... Tim described the situation. “ Would you go sit at your desk for a
few minutes and work on some paper work and just listen in on them? If you
can spare Carla invite her to your desk also. You two can ostensibly be
discussing menu's or something.” “Sure, Tim, I am going to enjoy this, I have
never heard of anything like it in my life, I am already eaten up with curiosity to
see how it turns out. “
Finally one of the women in the group said, “Well I suppose the first order
of business is to decide who is here for which job. Why don't those of you
interested in becoming system administrator move over to the next table.” With
that three men and one woman got up and moved to the next table. Two of
them refilled their coffee cups before sitting down. Of the remaining five people
four were women and one was a man. The woman who had instigated the
move commenced.
“My name 'Doris Rimbot,' I have a BA in business management from
Carver college, my minor was in computer science. I am married, my husbands
name is Ralph, he also works on the construction crew.” She said he was dead
set on this job because of the money and he just coerced her into coming
along. I don't know anything about construction but I have worked with data
base management systems for the last five years. I would very much like to get
out of laying cement blocks and digging in the mud.” At that point the man in
the group said lots of luck lady, he then got up and left the table. The other four
women just sat there. One of them started to say something then thought
better of it, got up wished the others luck, and left. None of the other three
wanted the job as badly as Doris did and apparently none of them considered
themselves as well qualified. “I guess you get the job, Doris,” one of them said.
Another said, “I would love to have this job but I am no where near as qualified
as you are Doris so I am withdrawing,” “Me too” said the last one. Doris
pressed the blue button on her phone and said “CALL Tim Erkin.” she got a
busy signal so she poured herself another cup of coffee.
The situation was almost the same at the other table. A wimpy little
prematurely balding man named “Surge Yugolov” turned out to be so much
better qualified than the others at computer technology that the other three
capitulated in a matter of minutes. Surge pushed the blue button on his phone
but before he could say anything Tim came through the door.
“Congratulations to you two, Surge and Doris, I am pleased to have you
aboard. Please meet me at the Government Headquarters Office1400. I will
show you around and introduce you to the rest of the staff. Neither Doris nor
Surge ever found out how Tim had gotten their names. It was pretty simple, as
soon as Carla knew the names she left Hilda's desk returned to the kitchen and
called Tim. She was the one talking to Tim when Doris got here busy signal
and invitation to leave voice mail.
Tim then went to his office, but before he could get in the door Carter
and Paul collared him and invited him to lunch at the Government dining room.
During lunch Tim briefed them and they briefed him on all the latest
developments on the facility.
Tim brought them up to date on construction, the tunnelers should
celebrate another breakthrough some time this week. And we will have a new
cavern to tame.
*I need to group the nine hundred people that we now have into work
crews so I have hired a person to set up and manage a data base for us. While
I was at it I found the systems administrator that you said you need, Paul. I
didn't think you would object to me making the selection since the Government
is no longer funding the position. If we ever become critically short of
construction workers I can always pull him but until that time comes he is yours.
Both of these people will be at headquarters at 1400 and I will introduce them
around. Maybe you can ask Alice to show Serge the ropes before she departs
next week. This new girl, Doris is pretty sharp so hopefully by next week she
will have enough of the data base set up to organize the construction crews.”
Until we breakthrough and tame Utopia we are going to have a lot of
surplus labor on our hands so if either of you can think of a project that will keep
people occupied let me know. There were seven hundred or more people
showed up this morning for assignments so after putting half of them to work I
just told the rest to go over and get the supply yard squared away. That has
been my day so far.”
“Paul and Carter just laughed.”Paul said we discussed establishing a
legal system with a police department, courts, judges, laws and everything.
Then we discussed the mess we have at City Hall and what we need to do to
straighten that out. Then we decided we better notify the Government to send
up several surveying crews. We also discussed the need to have an elected
Government to handle local issues, you know like a city counsel or something.
Nothing is firm yet on any of that but we'll keep you posted.
After lunch Tim had a chance encounter with the head of the
Government Scientists. “I have a question for you George, It's about Ivy, Abner
says it will grow anywhere there is an ordinary lit cavern and it doesn't need
special grow lights.” “If it does? Tim, I don't see how it would enrich our
atmosphere because without the grow lights it could not photosynthesize.”
“But,” answered Tim,”if it didn't photosynthesize, how could grow?” “Good
question, is Abner growing ivy now that is not exposed to grow lights?” “Yes, I
have seen them, they were just little half Inch shoots but they were bright
green.” “I'll check into it and let you know.”
At 1400 Tim met with the two new computer people at headquarters. He
introduced Doris and Serge to the rest of the staff. Tim then assigned Doris to a
computer station and showed her how to access the data base manager
program and the available data that was now scattered in various places on the
drive. “Hopefully I will have enough of a data base put together in the next few
days that you can select work crews based on any criteria you like.” “Hal
Johnson, my assistant will be using the data more than I will, he is the one that
will be assigning the crews. I will be more interested on the projects that we are
working on and how they are progressing. That proved to be all the instruction
that Doris ever required. After about a week Doris was able to give anyone in
management a list of anything they wanted in just a couple minutes. Everything
began running more smoothly.
With the size of Paradise cavern plus the Government cavern and the
Company cavern Tim found that he was spending most of his time moving from
one place to another. Tim thought what I need is a golf cart to get around in, I
am going to have to mention that to Carter next time I see him. Tim made a
note to ask Carter about Golf carts.
Tim next checked on the of the tunneling crew. “We are making much
better progress now that we are not working in those darned Mars Suits” the
foreman told Tim. I think we are about three or four days out from
breakthrough. The tunneling crews changed drilling techniques with each
change in soil conditions. When they came to solid rock the would blast or use
jack hammers, when they were in loose soil they just used old fashioned picks
and shovels, when they were in tight packed soil they used power drills to break
it up. They just whatever they needed as conditions changed. If they were in
loose soil then they had to reinforce the tunnel sides and top as they went
along.
All the loose soil they dug out was scooped up with a front end loader
and hauled to the farm or the orchard. The rocky soil and rocks would be used
as fill when they went to level the cavern floors.
Tim constantly had a crew making cement blocks on the surface. He
found that cement block shortages were holding up other construction so he
started using three crews on the surface making cement blocks when the
weather permitted. Two more crews were constantly leveling cavern floors and
placing cement blocks to make floors and roadways. They would only be
putting a roadway across the Paradise cavern and walking trails so as to not
ruin the aesthetic quality of the cavern.
As Tim was leaving Paradise cavern he ran into Carter. “What would you
think of getting a few golf carts for the managers to get around in?” “I am way
ahead of you on that one, Tim, since we have so much distance to cover now I
discussed it with Paul a couple weeks ago. He sent out a request for one
hundred indoor carts and thirty surface carts with wide wheels that wouldn't sink
into Mars sand. When I get their answer I will let you know.”
May 27, 2108: George was in The Company cavern so he decided to
stop by the farm and have a look at the Ivy. Abner showed him the small plants
that now had leaves and were about three Inches tall. “I don't understand
it,“said George, In theory this can't be. “ Abner answered, “That reminds me of
the story about the old man that took his grandson to the Zoo, the two of them
stood in front of the giraffe cage for several minutes watching the animals, then
finally the old man yanked on his grandson's arm and lead him away, Come on,
son there ain't no such animal. Just maybe, George there is such an animal.”
“In that case Abner, go ahead and spread your Ivy like Johnny apple seed, The
stuff won't create any problems until you try to get rid of it. There are colleges in
New England that have been trying to kill the stuff off for two hundred fifty years
but about two hundred years ago they found the solution to their problem.”
“What was that?” ask Abner. “Oh they just started calling their little group of
colleges 'THE IVY LEAGUE' ”.
May 30, 2108 : That evening of was Walter and Thelma's going away
party. It was celebrated much as they had celebrated New years Eve. Thelma
and Walter each made a speech then Paul and Carter each made a speech
telling them how much they would be missed and Rusty was there with a
cameraman to record the event for posterity and for use on the local news the
following evening.

CHAPTER – Other Nations want in


June 1, 2008
Meanwhile back on Earth things were happening that could effect the
Mars Project. “Mr. President, the Chinese Ambassador.” “Welcome, Mr.
Ambassador, let's have a seat on the couch over here and you can tell me to
what I owe the honor of your visit. Could I offer you something to drink?” “Oh,
cut the crap, Chet, you know why I am here, We want in on the Mars program.
We want our own colony with our own people running it.” “So, Ambassador Jing,
why are you telling me this?” We make no claim on the planet Mars, only to the
parts of Mars that we have opened up, and developed.
You are free to develop your own program any way you want so long as
you don't violate any of our territorial claims. As you know we claim any cavern
that we have pressurized and populated and any cavern, any part of which is
within two hundred Earth miles of any cavern we have pressurized and
populated.” “We are aware of that Chet but what we are seeking is your help in
developing our program. We want you to help us in all fields of development to
establish a Chinese presence on the planet that does not violate any of your
territorial claims.” “We would be happy to oblige you Jing but we have one
stipulation that you must agree to in order to gain our full support.” “What is that
Chet?” “That we have the right to approve any people that you want to send to
Mars either on our space craft now or your own space craft any time in the
future. You know very well that anyone you send must be of good character
and be able to pass a fluency test in the English Language and that you
acknowledge that the English language is the official language of Mars and that
all communications on Mars, to Mars or from Mars be in English. You know
how many difficulties that this planet has had because of language differences,
we just want to prevent that happening on Mars. If you agree to that then we
will share all that we know about Mars with you, We will train your people for a
price, we will transport your people, for a price and will assist you in any other
way that we can in establishing your colony on the planet. We will also allow
your people to visit our facilities at any time.” “That is where the rub comes in
Chet, we are Chinese and proud of it. Sure I am fluent in English but I doubt
that I could pass your fluency examination. The kinds of people that have the
skills for this kind of endeavor certainly could not pass. Also I am not so sure
that my Government would go along with English being the official language of
Mars.” Then Mr. Ambassador I suggest that you start from scratch and develop
your own program on your own terms. I am sorry Jing but I saw you without an
appointment because I was given to understand that you had only a couple of
quick questions and now I need to see my regularly scheduled guest, the
ambassador from Japan.”
President Harford did the same song and dance that he had just done
with the Chinese Ambassador. The Japanese Ambassador also left in a huff.
The President then buzzed his secretary. Get the press secretary in here right
away. “ Flint I have a job for you.. Get a recording of my last to conversations
from my secretary, listen to them then make up a position paper expressing
those tenants and see to it that all of the nations on Earth that might be in a
position to make a similar request get a copy. Also make sure that the Speaker
and the Sennett Majority leader each get a copy along with a note that I would
like to be able to sign this position into legislation. You can have the legislation
drafted for them it will make the job easier. I am sure that we have the backing
of both sides of the Isle on this one so it will be good for relations. Tell them
they can attach it to the next bill they pass unless think it is a bill that I might
want to veto.”
Two weeks passed and so did the bill. Then the President received a
visit from four different ambassadors at one time. They represented
respectively The UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Mr. President I am expressing the sentiments of all four of us and our
countries when I say that we very much approve of your position that English
only should be spoken on Mars and that any candidate that is sent should be
subject to your approval.” “Our four nations have met on this matter and we
would like to join the Mars program. Here is what we would like to offer. We
are willing to reimburse the United States for 40% of everything that you have
already spent on the Mars program over the last twelve years. We would like
to continue to reimburse the United States 40% of everything that you spend in
future years, but we would like to provide candidates for your approval of all
future colonists that are sent to Mars by either the United States Government or
sent by Mars Colony, Inc. until the population of Mars is 40% from our four
countries then we would like for 40% of all future colonists to be chosen by you
from candidates that we provide to you. When you breakthrough into Utopia we
would like for 40,000 of the first 100,000 people to reside in Utopia to be
selected from candidates that we provide to you. Beyond that we would all
caverns developed in future years be allocated as follows, any cavern with a
floor space of more than one hundred square miles be jointly populated. And
that all smaller caverns be allocated so that Australia gets ten % of them, New
Zealand gets ten percent, Canada gets ten percent and that the UK gets ten
percent as our own domains. The United States gets sixty percent.”
“That is very interesting but you are aware that I personally do not have
the authority to accept or decline your offer. What I suggest is that you
gentlemen sit down with our representatives who will be chosen from the
administration as well as from the House and the Senate and hammer out a
deal that we can all live with. There is one thing that I can tell you right now and
it is unofficial. There are certain guidelines that we use to select our
candidates, these rules fly in the face of some of our own civil rights legislation
but we have been getting away with it so far.
1.We do not take race into account.
2. We select equal numbers of men and women.
3. And here it gets a little sticky, we do not accept any candidate with
homosexual tendencies, we feel it would not be accepted by our people who
presently reside on Mars.
4.This one is really sticky we have not as yet selected a candidate
outside of the following, Christians of any denomination, Jews, Agnostics and
Atheists. We just don't want any religious conflicts. So far we have not
selected any professed Atheists, but we do have a few Agnostics. None of the
people that we have selected have any real strong religious feelings at all.
Next, we have been requested by the colony to provide them with Catholic and
Protestant Chaplains and at least one Rabbi. These people and their
necessary equipment have already been selected and will depart on the next
flight. Beyond that we would accept any chaplain candidates that you care to
nominate but those would be sent at your expense.
5.Frankly I don't think congress is going to go for your deal about
separate domains. Here is what I think you will end up with. After you
reimburse the United States for 40% of what we have spent so far you will be
allowed to send 50% of all future candidates until you reach parity then you will
be allowed 40%. You must also be aware that we have a small private sector
emerging on Mars. These people travel as paid passengers on our ships. We
presently charge five hundred thousand dollars dollars for the trip from Earth to
Mars and one hundred thousand dollars for a return flight or $550,000.00 for a
round trip ticket. We have just launched a new space ship we christened Mars
Runner. It is as large as our two other ships combined. Mars Runner belongs
entirely to the United States. We have sold our interest in the other two ships
Mars Supply One and Mars Supply Two to Mars Colony, Inc. but the United
States has retained control of who The Company hauls up to Mars and what
cargo they carry. You will have to negotiate for what cargo rights, business
rights, property ownership rights you will be entitled to on Mars. All real estate
other than what we call the Government cavern is owned by the company.
They will be free to develop it any way they please. They have agreed that the
United States share in the proceeds of any sales or leases of real estate. Only
residents of Mars are eligible to own real estate on Mars but corporations in
good standing are allowed to lease real estate.
6.So far we have no laws on Mars but the community is working on a
criminal and civil code at this time. Mars presently has the status of a U.S.
Protectorate. Common laws that apply to all Protectorates apply to Mars.
7.We have no civil or criminal courts on Mars but they are working on
that. We have not surveyed any real estate on Mars.
8.We have never had a crime committed on Mars and it is a good thing
because we have no police on Mars.
9.So far we have a private ownership bank chartered by two citizens of
Mars who were United States Civil Service Employees who finished their
employment contracts with the government. They have been in operation for
several months and are affiliated with City Bank in the United States. We would
not want to see any other banks on Mars until the population exceeds 30,000.
10.Burger Boy's has opened a restaurant outlet on Mars and Super Store
should be open within a matter of Days with a temporary store pending the
development of Utopia where they have a franchise to open one store for every
40,000 population. All other business fields are wide open.
These things also you need to take into consideration when you are
negotiating with our people. Don't be fooled by congress, Mars Colony, Inc.
has the hammer and they are the ones that will ultimately call the shots.
You would probably save yourselves a lot of red tape if you negotiated
directly with Mars Colony, Inc. and eliminated the middleman. Congress will
probably legislate in favor of any deal you strike on future development, land
use, business, etc. Congress will be more interested in some of the social
issues we discussed.”
“Mr. President, do you think we could”. “Hold it right there, this is not a
negotiation, I just gave you some pointers, save your negotiating for the big
shots. Sorry but I have another appointment waiting. I wish you all the best of
luck.”
They negotiated for almost a year and ended up with a deal that closely
resembled the deal that the President had outlined when they talked to him in
his office.
They also acknowledged that there was a distinct possibility that if the
Mars colony applied for statehood at some future date, when they were ready
the application would probably be favorably received and that if that happened
all the residents of Mars would either be admitted as Citizens of the United
States or would be granted Green Card, resident worker status.
They didn't care much for that clause and it had never occurred to them
that what the United States had planned for Mars was the eventual doubling of
the size of the Continental United States and adding as many as three hundred
million new citizens. Needless to say the UK consortium eventually lost interest
in the deal.
“Why give those blokes our best and brightest, the Prime Minister Said.”
Mars Colony, Inc. did start placing recruitment ads on the internet
soliciting applicants from those four countries.

CHAPTER – Big Lake and the Utility Cavern


June 6, 2108 : The Tunnel Crew finally broke through to the second new
cavern. It was huge. It was not as spectacular as Paradise but it was larger
than all their previous caverns combined. Almost thirty square miles. It was
two caverns actually. left as they broke through then a narrow opening,
The tunneling crew had only to don their Mars suits for the last four
hours before breakthrough. The cavern had one nice feature, the floor was
almost flat. They could tell from the light filtering in that it as well was a
beautiful cavern The walls almost had a glow to them, they kind of glistened
when a light was shined on them. A stream, almost a river entered at one side
then pooled into a lake that was quite large near the center of the larger part of
the cavern, probably about five square miles before turning once again into a
stream and flowing out the other side of the cavern. This cavern was slightly
higher in elevation at floor level than Paradise had been.
Tim and Carter were both on hand for the breakthrough, accompanied by
a lighting crew who installed temporary lights in both the large and the small
part of the cavern.
The large part had a very high ceiling and very few fissures to the
surface so they knew they were under a mountain. Had the ceiling been this
high on flat land it would only have been a pit. The scientists speculated that
this large cavern had been formed by a large meteor striking the surface maybe
a billion years in the past. Their guess was that the meteor had also formed the
lake that was very deep and filled with crystal blue water. Most of the scientists
from the Government cavern were pouring into the cavern taking soil samples
and water samples for testing. It was obvious that this cavern had been formed
differently than the others they had come across. Tim and Carter agreed that
this would be the most comfortable cavern they had found and this is where
they should probably be working out of once they had tamed it.
Tim and Carter briefly discussed running an enclosed tunnel through this
monster cavern but withheld making any decision until they knew more.
They didn't notice, since they were wearing Mars suits but the
temperature had risen to 75 degrees in the small side and 72 in the large side.
The scientists discovered that right away though. “My guess is that you are
going to find beautiful hot spots in the small side.” “Yeah, we have enough
equipment to tame this cavern. There is water, maybe we should tame it, we
will know more in a couple days after we have had a chance explore the small
side. We have been so enthralled with the big side that we have paid little
attention to the small side.”
Carter and Paul sent a joint report to Earth telling them what they had
found. They were developing quite a list of things they needed to develop these
new caverns. It would take several days just to explore the new caverns.
The list grew longer and now Included a request for more bureaucrats.
The shortage of clerical help is becoming critical. We need more clerks
everywhere on the facility and once we get our legal system in place we will
need Judges, and all the other people that are needed to run the court system.
We will need at least one prosecuting attorney and one public defender and a
lot more more clerks. In the public records department we have only one part
time clerk now, we need a full time staff. We need at least three police officers,
we need a dispatcher, We need everything that we would have to have to hold
an election. Maybe on the next ship we could skip the construction workers and
send the people we need to convert this work camp into a small city.
They did find several hot spots in the newly opened small side of the new
cavern. There was a warm stream running across the cavern. It was obvious
that this would be the place to house their utilities so Tim put crews to work
installing the new generator, and the atmosphere making equipment. The
Government atmosphere control people had activated one of the backup
atmosphere control units when they opened Paradise. They would now need to
activate the remaining two. There were six more units scheduled for delivery in
September. Tim requested that the two remaining back up atmosphere
systems be installed in the Utility cavern so they could go ahead and pressurize
the Big Lake cavern.
June 15, 2108: Big Lake cavern was pressurized.

CHAPTER – Super Store opens for Business


Super Store opened on the first Sunday of June, 2108. There were six
hundred people in line when they opened their doors. They had put their
shelves up and stocked the store with all the select merchandise that they had
been able to transport on the one hundred pallets they had been allowed on the
ship.
They opened the doors at 0900 all of the merchandise, every piece of it,
was in the hands of customers by 0930. People had just grabbed anything they
could get their hands on, it didn't matter whether it was something they could
use or not. With only three registers open it took until 1300 to get everyone
checked out. At that point there was no reason to remain open so they hung a
sign on the door and reconciled themselves to waiting for the next ship which
would be in August. All three Super Store employees went to work for the bank
on a temporary basis until August.
The following Sunday there was another giant swap meet in the business
district which had now become known as the square. Most of the merchandise
that had been purchased at Super Store was available for resale to the people
that actually needed the items for a slightly higher price of usually twice what
Super Store had sold it for. The swap meet also sold out in a few hours and
had to shut down.
Archy had wondered why there were so few people show up for church.
The church was open and operating now in the square with cement block
benches to accommodate one hundred worshipers. Archy put up a sign in front
of the church announcing an evening service to begin at 1900 hours. That
service was packed. Archy had successfully solicited twenty residents to form a
choir and chosen a choir director from among them. That evening the church
was packed and everyone enjoyed the choir and the country and western band
that accompanied them. Archy's leaning in the church was heavily toward lots
of hand clapping and gospel music. Everyone seemed to have a great time.
They particularly enjoyed Archy's preaching that was heavy on the shouting to
the lord and bible slapping and Hell, Fire and Brimstone rhetoric.
The church had to be doubled in size to accommodate the congregation.
Archy only wished that he was not obligated to The Company for the next ten
years so he could devote full time to his work as pastor.
June 20, 2108: Tim and Carter discussed this with Paul who agreed that
Archy was such a positive influence on the community that Carter and Paul
requested that be reassigned by The Company as the pastor of the church as
his full time work. After all they needed a full time pastor to conduct weddings,
baptisms, funerals and the many other duties that a pastor performed in the
community. Paul had already found out that the protestant pastor that The
Company was sending to Mars as Chaplain was an Episcopal priest so there
would be very little conflict between Archy and the new Protestant Chaplain.
Carter took it on himself and contacted the The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky who when they heard about Archy's ministry
and viewed a video of one of his services on Mars held a special ordination in
absentia ceremony and not only ordained Archy but gave him an honorary
Doctor of Divinity degree. Now Archibald Shrimp would a full time practicing
minister with his own church and congregation. On Mars he was called the
Chaplain.
While this had all been happening the small side of the new cavern had
been sealed and pressurized the large end of the cavern would just have to wait
for more equipment to arrive from Earth. Two wonderful discoveries were made
when the scientists could get into the cavern and examine it closely. There was
adequate geothermal energy in close proximity to provide power to several
large generators, maybe enough to power all of Utopia.
June 30, 2108: The second discovery was a vein of gold larger than any
vein that had ever been discovered on Earth, anywhere.
“The company is going to be very happy to hear about this discovery
Carter.” “Now maybe we will have something to send back to Earth instead of
everything coming this way.” “Better see if we have anyone with hard rock
mining experience and get them extracting that gold ore right away. I would like
to have as much as possible on hand to ship back when the next supply chip
gets here in August.
Tim went to Doris and had her scan the data base of employees and
picked out fifteen candidates who had claimed to have the skills that he was
looking for. He called each of them on his cell and ask them to meet him in the
small cavern that had just been tamed in one hour. Tim was the first one there
and looked around while he waited for the others. Shortly all fifteen had arrived
and he said “I would like to show you gentlemen something and then I would
like you to tell me what you think.” He lead them to the wall and pointed out the
vein. “Wow that is really something.” Tim just stood by and listened to their
ensuing conversation. It didn't take long for Tim to choose his foreman. One of
the men, Harold Dixon seemed to know a lot more than any of the others. The
other men were looking to him for answers. He had a relaxed posture and
attitude, was very knowledgeable and communicated his thoughts easily to the
others. “You men have just been reassigned to the mine crew. Please advise
your present crew chief's of the change. You can get together and decide what
all you will need to get started extracting that gold. Harold would you step over
here there is something I would like to ask you?” “Sure” Tim and Harold walked
about 50 feet away from the other men and Tim said “you seem to know quite a
bit about this mining business Harold just how much experience have you had?”
“I have been a hard rock miner all my life and my father before me spent his life
mining, my grandfather was a prospector. My family is from rural Nevada. The
mines are pretty well played out there so when this job came my wife and I
jumped at it.” “What is your educational background Harold?” “I have a BA in
Engineering from University of Nevada, Reno and a Masters in Mine
Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colorado.” “I'm
impressed, you will be in charge of setting up this mine and supervising this
crew.
Make sure that the things these guys have put on the list they are
preparing are legitimate and then see if you can find enough of the things you
need in the supply yard to get started. There will be a ship arriving here in
August but it is too late to get anything on that ship. We should be getting two
ships in December and what you need besides what we already have here will
be on that ship.” If you can find enough to get started in the yard your crew can
start in the morning. You will probably be seeing a lot of me around here for a
while because among my other chores I am a drilling engineer and we will be
installing another generator about a mile over there.” Tim pointed toward the hot
spots. “Give me a call this evening and let me know if you want all the men that
are here or if you need more that are unskilled. These men here are the only
ones that claim to have any hard rock mine experience. I should be able to find
you some coal miners though if and when you need more men.”
June 30, 2108: The next morning Tim allowed his assistant to hold the
muster while Tim got his drilling crew together and began to pillage the supply
yard. They found better drilling equipment than they had used on their first hole
in The Company cavern. He then inspected the new generator and found it was
almost twice the output of their present generator. He told the men to gather all
the equipment that they needed and meet him at the hot spot when the
equipment was all in place. These were the men that Tim had worked with on
the previous hole and they all pretty much knew what they were doing. They
didn't need much direct supervision and Tim already knew which of them would
be best qualified to be in charge of the project when he wasn't there. It took
them all day to find and move the equipment so they didn't need to call Tim any
more that day.
Tim then looked up the air quality control supervisor who was one of the
Government scientists. “Where do we stand on getting the new atmosphere
equipment installed at the Utility cavern?” Tim ask. “So far so good, I was
relieved to find that we had everything that we need and it is being moved to the
Utility cavern now.” The small new cavern that had just been opened had been
dubbed, the Utility cavern because of the generator and atmosphere equipment
being installed there. “We should have the new equipment running in a week or
so. Then there will be no question that we will have plenty of atmosphere so we
can open the big half of that cavern.” “Crews were already working on the
surface sealing the fissures on the big half so it looked like they could open it up
within the next week.
July 1, 2108: tunneling was coming along great on the tunnel to the third
new cavern. It would be a 580 footer and the crews were already in ten to
twelve feet and another crew was already installing the air lock. Every evening
the spa in the paradise cavern was packed with people enjoying the hot water.
Some were even swimming in the warm river. The park had turned out to be
very popular with the population of Mars.
Tim could hardly wait to get Big Lake Cavern opened, and the lake
stocked with fish. Tim had no idea how they would manage to build boats or
rafts to use on the lake but he was sure someone would come up with
something. Tim made a note to himself to find out about getting some electric
outboard motors, they could always find some Styrofoam or empty drums or
something that would float.
The tunnel enlarging crews had started work on enlarging the tunnel
from the Paradise cavern to the Utility cavern.
Tim, Carla, Juan and Lupe once again started playing shuffleboard in the
evenings. They had no trouble at all finding an open court.
July 4, 2108: Tim and Carla attended the Saturday night dance and
found a table. They danced a couple times while they sipped a cup of tea.
Then Carla said she would like some air so they stepped out. No one had yet
figured out how to hold fireworks on Mars, and they didn't have any anyway so
it didn't seem much like the 4th of July.
Tim remembered something that he wanted to get from home so he went
around the mess hall to go and retrieve it. He was shocked to see about thirty
people sitting around in folding chairs pulled up to folding tables all smoking
clay pipes. They could hear the music just fine from there and some of them
had laid down their pipes to go and dance. Tim spotted one of the men he new
in the crowd and went over and joined him. The man casually acknowledged
Tim then passed him his lit clay pipe. There was no doubt at all what the pipe
contained. Tim respectfully declined but gave the man a big smile. Nothing
had to be said.
On Sunday, after church Tim called Paul and Carter to request a quick
meeting. He related to them what he had observed behind the dining room on
Saturday evening. “We already know all about it Tim, and we have figured out
how to handle it.” “How is that,” Tim ask. “By doing nothing,” Carter responded.
If I caught a member of management smoking in public I would ask him not to
do that any more, but as long as we don't have a problem during the work
week, I see no harm in it. After all pot is now completely legal in twelve states.
So far it has not occurred to the Government or The Company to address the
issue. We have had a chat with Abner and Darwin over at the farm and they
assure me they are giving the stuff away to anyone who comes by and asks for
it. Sometimes they say that a person will slip them some small amount of
money for their trouble but they never ask for anything in return. Since alcohol
is not available this pot is the only thing people have to help them relax and
have a good time at the Saturday night dance and other such gatherings. If
anyone wants to smoke it in their own home we have no objection to that either.
Paul and I both agree that everyone would be appreciative if we never
brought the issue up. On the other hand if you ever caught anyone smoking on
the job you should probably advise them that what they are doing is not allowed
and if they persist they could ruin a good thing for everybody.” “That is all I
wanted to know, and I have no objection to the non policy,” said Tim. “I will see
to it that Rusty doesn't do a story about it on TV and that everybody gets the
word they should not smoke in public when there is a ship in port. I think those
should be reasonable restraints, after all we don't want word of this non policy
getting back to Earth.” Tim added.
July 10, 2108: The two gentlemen who had volunteered to produce
alcohol had harvested their first crop of corn and finished making their first
batch of booze. They only produced about twenty gallons and had already
consumed quite a bit of that themselves. No one had planted more corn.
Abner had corn growing at the farm but it had not been earmarked for making
booze. It appeared that our booze project had failed. Tim had the two men
take the remaining booze over to the farm where Abner had agreed to store it
until next New years Eve when everyone would get one drink as far as it went.
July 1, 2108: Two of the Government workers who had remained on
Mars as private citizens had been racking their brain to figure out what kind of
business they wanted to go into. They finally hit on the idea of starting a winery
and brewery. Ironically their names were Austin Viner and Byron Suds. They
had ordered the plants and grow lights and other equipment that they needed to
produce grapes, hops, barley and yeast and were working at Burger Boy's until
their stuff came in in December. It had cost them almost a million dollars but
they were sure they had made a good investment.
July 6, 2108: Tim went to see Abner that morning to tell him that there
was now plenty of room for his orchards. Tim had staked off 40 acres of land in
Big Lake cavern. Tim asked Abner to accompany him to Big Lake. The two of
them walked the area reserved for the Orchards. “Great said Abner now all I
will need is topsoil and grow lights to cover 40 acres of land.” Abner had been
mixing local nitrates with manure from the farm and Martian soil for some time.
He had quite a pile of it. “You see this Tim,” Abner said when they returned to
the farm. If I mix this soil with the contents of my compost pile, then plant each
tree in a 3X3X3 hole filled with this mixture I should have a good start at
growing our orchard. I can dig the holes now and fill as many of them as
possible with this soil I will start another soil conversion pile at the Orchard.
Once you get the grow lights in I will be able to start transplanting these little
trees.
August 12, 2108: Mars Supply One docked. They had brought only one
hundred new construction workers but they had brought two hundred new civil
service employees. Mars now had the staff for the public services that they
needed. They got 150 new clerical people, one judge, two attorneys, a Public
Records Librarian, and even three police officers. One of the clericals was an
election specialist and would work in that capacity full time as needed if and
when there were to be an election. In the meantime she was assigned to
computer input work. One of the new clerical workers was assigned as Tim's
secretary. Tim had been taking up too much of Doris time lately with his
projects that had nothing to do with her data base work. Tim had accumulated
a ton of work for that he had been putting off.
Among the cargo items that arrived were1,000 new grow lights. Tim
already knew they would be on this flight because he had told The Company
that the trees they had sent would be of no value without them so they had
agreed to put them on the next ship out.
The ship had also brought ten thousand board foot of utility grade ply
wood in various thicknesses. There were the usual food supplies and among
other things, lots of odds and ends they desperately needed.
Aside from personnel they got the 125 golf carts they had requested.
They came all dismantled and crated but assembling them would not be a
problem. Everyone was thrilled that they got two hundred thousand fingerling
catfish, cutthroat, bluegill, and crappy. Before the ship arrived screens had
been installed on the two warm rivers to keep the young fish from swimming off
into uncharted regions of Mars. There was a lady ichthyologist that said she
had been sent along to care for the fish. She had enough fish food to keep
them growing for three months and knew how to process table scraps into fish
food. There was the parts necessary to construct a new large geothermal
generator, another unit would arrive in December when Mars Runner made it's
first arrival. One great thing that came in was five thousand cubic feet of
hardwood. It was in various sizes but wood was something they had plenty of
uses for. There was cargo for the farm as well, Abner had ordered and now had
received twenty million Earth worms. Super Store even received another
hundred pallets of merchandise. Tim laughed, now they will be able to open for
business for another one day stand.
Tim was wrong, this time around it took Super Store into the second day
to sell everything that they had.
Ever since Tim had arrived the new arrival's had all had housing waiting
for them. The previous crop of new arrivals and this group had rooms in row
houses, They had started using common walls between the units instead of
building individual houses as they had done at first. They would build another
row of rooms that shared a common wall at the rear of the room. The
completed units resembled motels. The buildings were then given a number
followed by a dash and then a letter, as in 354-C. There were 20 units to each
building so they would letters up to T.
Because of the irregular work hours the kitchens and dining rooms had
started staying open 16 hours per day. They would just transition from
breakfast to lunch to dinner and people could eat any time they pleased. The
kitchens had started offering more choices of food and serving buffet style
rather than just serving everyone that came through the line the same meal.
The Government kitchen always offered a different food selection than The
Company kitchen. Residents were free to eat in either dining room. For the
most part the vegetables were fresh from the garden and both dining halls
usually offered a salad bar, and a choice of dressings. More cooks and kitchen
help were arriving on each ship so they had plenty of help in the kitchens. In
addition to these changes it took standing in line for 20 minutes or more to get a
Big Boy and fries.
Paul mostly but Tim and Carter to a degree had dreaded the day that
they would have police officers on duty in the community. Now they had a U.S.
Marshal and two deputies. Paul summoned them to visit his office. In about ten
minutes three young women entered the office. “Are you the police officers?“
Carter asked. “Yeah, not what you expected, huh?” “No, not exactly,” Tim
answered. “Just what do you ladies expect to contribute to this community?”
Paul inquired. The older of the three spoke for the three of them. “ Why don't
we introduce ourselves, I am Deputy United States Marshal Constance Raul,
my two associates here are Marlene Dotson and Pamela Justin, they are also
Deputy United States Marshals but I am in charge because my pay grade is
higher than theirs and I have been with the Marshal Service longer. You
gentlemen are?” I am Paul Silverman, the facility director and this is Carter
Fredrick, the Mars Colony, Inc. manager and Tim Erkin, the construction
superintendent. The titles may be a little misleading but the three of us pretty
much run the facility. “Now as I previously asked, Just what do you ladies
expect to contribute to this community?”
“We will have a lot to do,” Constance replied. “One thing will to be to find
out why you have never had a reportable crime in the twelve years since the
colony was established. Another thing is to be the administrative arm of the
court system once that is established. Another would be to investigate any
crime that does occur, and believe me, it is inevitable that sooner or later as
your population grows you will have some crime. You gentlemen could
probably apprehended a suspect but there are occasions when you wouldn't
know who to apprehend. I know we are young women but between us we have
had over 27 years of training beyond high school, in college and in practicing
our professions. Any of us would be qualified to work in a crime lab or work as
a crime scene investigator on Earth. If, as you apparently believe, it turns out
that we have nothing to do then we could always ask you for permission to take
jobs on the young economy that we hear is emerging on Mars. That way we
would always still be available if you needed us to do the job we were sent here
to do.” All three of the men in the room were impressed. “I guess you don't
need any advise from us so just go about your business. Carter put in, “We
have constructed a court house of sorts, but like you said we have never had a
crime, we have never had a civil action filed either. You will find your offices in
the court house along side the one cell jail that we constructed. There is also a
bailiffs office, judges chambers and a court room with a jury box and everything.
One of our people will be in touch with you to find out if you need anything. The
girls left and Tim looked at Carter and Paul and just shrugged.
As it turned out, not only were the three U.S. Marshals all female but so
was the judge and the two attorney's. One of the attorney's was the prosecutor
and one the public defender. The bailiff, however turned out to be a large black
man that appeared capable of putting down any courtroom difficulties.
“This is great, “said Paul. “ we now have a whole legal system in place
but we have no laws to enforce or to charge anyone of violating.“ They then
summoned the judge, Nancy Whalen to the office along with the two attorney's.
Paul posed that same question to them. “Oh, but there are laws a plenty. This
colony is officially a territory of the United States, and laws have been
accumulating on the books that govern U.S. Territories for the last four hundred
years, I have over thirty seven books that I brought from the states that are just
crammed full of those laws. These two attorney's here each have a copy of all
the same books that I have. With email we have access to a lot of other laws
that are available from the national law library and from the library of congress.
“Your local assembly, whatever you call it needs to pass what would be
called county ordinances on earth. How do you get by without them?” “Simple,”
said Carter when there is a good reason that people should not do something
we just tell them not to do it and they don't do it. It works the same as when you
have something you want them to do we just tell them to do it but we always
give them a reason. If we don't have a good reason we don't bug them, it works
for us.”
August 13, 2108: Because of having received advance instructions four
large ponds had been dug, cemented and cured. The ponds were adjacent to
the warm river across from the farm in The Company cavern. They were ready
to receive the paint that Grace, the new fish farmer had brought from Earth.
The day after they got the paint the crew that had been assigned to help Grace,
set up painted the four ponds. The paint was quick drying and sat up in an
hour. The workers scrubbed the new paint then painted over that with a
nutritional gel resembling bottom and sides of an established pond. By noon
they opened the four trap doors allowing river water to pour into the ponds.
Fifty thousand young fish were dumped from the tanks they had lived in on the
ship into the ponds. Each breed had their own separate pond. Several
hundred fish in each pond floated to the surface. They had died en route to
Mars. The dead fish were quickly removed. Some of the young fish began to
swim a little but others just laid there, their gills moving as if they were gasping
for air. Grace, the fish farmer put a little food into each tank. The catfish food
sank to the bottom while the blue gill, trout and crappie food floated on the
surface. Thank you folks so much for all your help but there is nothing more
you can do at the moment. You may return to your other duties. One young
woman stayed behind when the others left. If it is all the same to Mam I would
like to relieve you while you go and take care of your housing needs and put
your things away. After that you can go and have lunch and come back when
you are all squared away. Just tell me what to do while you are away and I will
see to it. “ What is your name hon,” Grace asked. “I am Helen, Mam.” “I just
think I may take you up on that offer Helen.” Grace said, “At this point there is
really nothing to do, just keep an eye on the fish and scoop away any that die
and float to the top. I will be back in a couple hours.”
Because the bureaucracy was in such a turmoil because of all the new
arrivals it took Grace closer to four hours before she found her house, found her
luggage and had lunch. When she returned Helen was still there, the net in her
hand and she was carefully scooping away the young fish that had expired.
The worms that Abner had received at the farm were introduced into the
crops and the orchards and to his compost piles. A million or so Earth worms
were given to Grace because she could use them in her own compost operation
that was part of her making fish food out of garbage.
As the days passed Grace had little difficulty in caring for her fish and still
had time to go to her meals and take care of her personal matters and check on
the fish as often as they needed checking on. Every afternoon Helen would
drop by after work and just look at the fish. Sometimes Grace would return to
check on the fish and Helen would be there. Sometimes Helen would drop by
while Grace was working with the fish. Would you tell me about these catfish,
Grace?” Helen ask one evening. “Sure Helen, these fish grow fast, they were
barely hatched when the ship had left Earth but already some of these guys are
six Inches long. A catfish in ideal warm water conditions can grow to over two
pounds in one year. For the cost of production catfish easily out perform all
other fish. Crappie (pronounced Croppy) are prolific and grow to about two
pounds in 18 months or so. They are good eating with lots of meat but you
have a lot of bones to contend with. A lot of pet food manufacturers use crappy
in their products but they grind them up so the bones won't harm the pets.
Trout and blue gill are fun fish, they are fun to catch and they are fun to watch,
but catfish that is where the meat is. Of course blue gill are a favorite of people
who like to fillet small fish and fry them crispy in a pan. Trout really isn't one fish
but a family of fish, we have several varieties in this pond and they are also
good pan fish and the larger varieties are good baked. There is a lot more but if
you are curious why don't you look them up on the Internet and learn all about
them. The fish that we chose to try first on Mars were chosen because they are
hearty fish that we thought might make the journey to Mars and still be alive and
they are fish that we thought might be most likely to adapt best to the
environment here. If I can find the right location I am going to try and create a
salt water lake and have them send up some salt water fish to try here.” “Within
eight or nine months we should be eating fish regularly and fishing should be a
popular sport on Mars within a year.” “I am just taken with these fish Grace I
would love to work with them if the time ever comes that you need an assistant
please consider me for the job. My boyfriend, Darwin got a job on the farm over
there caring for the animals. Darwin and I are planning on getting married soon
and it would be great if he cared for animals and I cared for fish.”
August 22, 2108: Grace had inspected Big Lake and had inspected the
warm river that flowed out of the spa in Paradise and would soon be moving a
couple thousand trout to Big Lake and a Thousand or so catfish to the warm
river. She told Tim the next time she saw him that she would need a crew for a
few hours at sometime in the next week. In the meantime she filled a couple
tanks with water from the two places and put a couple fish in each tank. The
Trout did well in the water from Big Lake and the catfish did just fine in the water
from Warm River. The next week she moved one thousand trout to Big Lake
and one thousand Catfish to Warm River. They both thrived on a minimum
amount of food made from kitchen garbage. The catfish in warm river were
soon larger than the catfish in the pond. The trout in the lake out performed the
fish in the pond also. On the second week in the pond Grace was finding no
more dead fish a day than she would have expected to find on Earth. Grace
opened each trap door long enough to let a few fish out into the river from each
species. Then she started feeding them the food that she made from table
scraps, they also thrived. Grace had also sewn thousands of Earth worms
along the banks of the lakes and rivers and made sure there was enough for
them to eat. Within a month Grace had transplanted more fish to Big lake,
crappie, blue gill and some more trout. Then she opened the gate to the ponds
and left them open. Some of the fish still preferred the pond but most chose the
river and the warm lake. The catfish seemed very fond of the warm lake. The
water in Big Lake stayed a little warmer than most native Mars water because
of all the heat being generated in the Utility cavern.
September 13, 2108: For two weeks Tim had three crews assembling,
charging and testing golf carts. Tim himself got the first one off the assembly
line. He could now scurry from place to place quickly. When the carts were all
assembled they were put in a motor pool. Anyone who needed a cart for work
just took one. When they were done with it they drove it back and parked it in
the motor pool. If the yellow light was on they took it to the charging station and
plugged it in. The lithium ion gel batteries that they used were good for about
two hundred fifty miles or ten days which ever came first, before the yellow light
would come on. There were never more than ten of the carts on the charger
overnight. The surface carts could be used in the caverns but the cavern carts
could not be used on the surface. The difference being that the surface carts
had big balloon tires that would not sink into the dust that was on much of the
surface. People working on the surface would just ride a cart over to the
pedestrian elevator, go up to the surface and use the cart while they were
working then return it in the evening. After five PM people would take a cart
anytime they were going out of the original complex of the Government cavern
and The Company cavern a lot of them could be found at the spa on any given
evening. People could be found lining the banks of Big Lake, near the feeding
area and lining the banks of Warm River and the river and Lake in The
Company cavern every evening spotting fish.
September 20, 2108: The gold mine had proved to be very productive.
They were extracting not only pure gold from the vein but the ore on each side
of the vein for several feet proved to be very rich in gold. They did not even
attempt to smelt the ore on Mars. They did jury rig a crusher that worked well
so they were just crushing everything produced in the mine. They made
cement boxes that were filled with the gold and ore then sealed with cement,
and cured before being loaded on the empty ships and sent back to Earth. The
only way to get at the contents was to destroy the cement box. The boxes were
not so heavy that two strong men on Mars could handle one box which weighed
about one hundred lbs on Mars but weighed almost three hundred lbs on the
ships and on Earth. These boxes had to be unloaded back on Earth with fork
lifts. As far as anyone ever knew no gold had ever been pilfered.
September 23, 2108: The tunnel crew had a hard time digging the tunnel
leading out of Big Lake and the Utility cavern. They ran into hard rock so went
and consulted the mine foreman. He examined the rock and decided it was all
part of the same vein they were pursuing from the Utility cavern. He moved the
mine crew to the tunnel and they removed the 40 foot wide vein of gold bearing
quartz before the tunnel digging crew could continue. The hard rock had finally
been removed and the tunnel crew resumed work on September 27, 2108.
New tunneling equipment had arrived on August 12, 2108 and once
tunneling had resumed it went much faster.

CHAPTER – The Ocean


October 7, 2108: The tunneling crew broke through to the third cavern on
their way to Utopia. As soon as breakthrough occurred the scientists dressed in
Mars suits descended on the place and started their measurements . The
cavern was almost circular and covered about twelve square miles. Almost
the whole cavern floor was covered by one giant lake. A warm spring entered
at one side of the cavern and fed the large lake. There was a stream exiting the
lake and flowing off into the a crevice in the cavern wall. The water temperature
of the lake was a mild 68 degrees. Tim knew instantly that they had found
Graces Ocean. He went to fetch Grace immediately and told her to bring her
Mars suit and follow him. When they approached the air lock Tim put his Mars
suit back on and told Grace to do likewise. While they were putting their suits
on Tim asked Grace,“Do you remember asking me to enlarge the fish ponds
because you were expecting a shipment of Salt Water fish on the Mars Runner
when it docks in December?” “Of course I remember but what does this have to
do with..?” “I'll show you Tim interrupted.” With that they went through the
double doors of the air lock and Tim presented Grace with her with her Ocean.
The natural water temperature here is 68 degrees and I seem to remember that
on Earth they used to quote water temperatures in that range on the radio” “Yes
68 would be perfect.” “Great we should have this cavern sealed and
pressurized within the week. We can install a reverse osmosis system where
that water exits and use the output as household tap water. You can put your
salt solution into the lake and when the reverse osmosis system filters it out you
can put it back into the lake.
Luckily the floor was almost level with the tunnel so the drillers continued
on their way
October 8, 2108: The four fissures in what they were all referring to as
the Ocean cavern were sealed and a pressure test was run. One of the seals
leaked a little but was quickly repaired. The cavern was pressurized by the end
of the week.
October 9, 2108: Tunneling promptly began on the next long tunnel
another nine hundred foot span. The digging went fast and easy. The workers
never had to wear their Mars suits. Men were now working the tunnel around
the clock. They were gaining more than two feet per hour at times.

CHAPTER – Mars Supply Two returns


November 15, 2108: Mars Supply Two docked, Mars was closer to Earth
now and the travel time was a little less. The three hundred passengers that
they carried were mostly construction workers. There was more lumber than
the colony had ever had before. There were four hundred pallets of
merchandise for Super Store and six new employees. The Company who had
been operating the first class restaurant sent sixteen employees and a
manager. There was enough equipment, supplies and frozen food to fully equip
a first class restaurant. There were also five hundred cases of liquor. More was
due to arrive in December when Mars Runner made its first docking at the Mars
orbiter.
November 21,2108: The building for the restaurant had already been
built in the square next to the Bank and waiting when the ship arrived The
building had been plumbed and wired so it took less than a week to install the
equipment. The restaurant opened for business Today. Prices were
established at $200.00 for a first class meal with two drinks Included but two
more optional at $10.00 each. Alcohol was limited to diners. The new
restaurant dominated the talk radio program for several days.

CHAPTER – The Hour Glass


November 30, 2108: the tunneling crew broke through into their 4th
cavern. This was another large and beautiful cavern similar to Paradise. It was
almost a perfect hour glass in shape and as luck would have it they had broken
through right at the thin part of the hour glass. When the powerful portable
lights were shined in both directions they saw stalagmites, stalactites, and
columns in every direction. It was later established that the hour glass had
about 22 square miles of floor space. There were five lakes averaging ten
acres each in size and all joined by a river that ranged from fifteen feet to 50
feet in width. The water here moved quite slowly. Soundings disclosed that the
lakes were all more than two hundred feet deep and even the river ran over 50
feet deep in places. Best of all the water was warm. There must be magma
somewhere here that is not too far below the surface. They didn't really need
another park but it looked like they had found one. Once details of the Hour
Glass cavern were released they dominated not only the talk radio show but
Rusty spent at least half of his local news half hour discussing the new cavern
and what it could mean for their community.
December 2, 2108: Tunneling starts to reach the fifth cavern, 1100 feet
away.
December 15, 2108: The fissures had all been sealed and pressure
tested and atmosphere introduced. The temperature in the hour glass was 86
degrees. Back in the Government cavern the temperature had been down in
the forties when Tim and Carla first arrived and the caverns had to be heated
for people to be comfortable. With the tunnels open and fans circulating the air
the temperature had equalized at 72 degrees everywhere and nothing had to be
heated.
December 15, 2108: Grace had more water than she new what to do
with. She was trapping fish from the other ponds and introducing them to the
lakes in the Hour Glass. Walkways were laid so as to encircle each of the lakes
and along the rivers. It might be a couple years before the fishing got really
good, and no one was allowed to fish at the Hour Glass lakes for over a year
but the fish that Grace had introduced were thriving. Grace now had a full crew
working for her doing nothing but making fish food, and migrating fish. Talk
radio spent a lot of time talking about fishing.

CHAPTER – Mars Runner makes it's first docking


December 22, 2108: There was a lot of interesting and long awaited
cargo on Mars Runner. The two items that got the most attention however were
150 twelve foot fiber glass fishing boat kits, They came disassembled with the
boats stacked one inside the other. There were several large crates with
hardwood seats, fixtures and oars. There was even 150 two horsepower
electric trolling motors, which also came partially disassembled. Within just a
few days everything was assembled before Tim ever got around to assigning a
crew to do the work. Soon there were boats available everywhere that fishing
was allowed.
The second item of intense interest to the workers on Mars and their talk
radio show was the arrival of the wine and beer making equipment and plants.
There was also enough grapes hops barley and yeast ready to use for them to
start production as soon as they were set up. They chose the hour glass for
their operation. Byron and Austin had leased eighty acres from The Company
they had already learned what they thought they needed to know to make beer
and wine. In the public interest and because there was so much surplus labor
around, Tim approved them having the use of four crews if they agreed to keep
them busy. The brewery and two houses appeared almost overnight. Within
the week the rest of their eighty acres had been planted in barley, hops, grapes
and sugar cane. They even had volunteers showing up after work and on their
days off to see if they could help. With their initial order they had ordered a
supply of the Mars soil converter plus two tons of fertilizers and ten million Earth
worms. The soil in this vineyard and farm would be very rich indeed. They first
tried making their beer and wine in five gallon containers so as not to ruin too
much of it if things didn't turn out as expected. What they got for their trouble
was drinkable beer and wine but it was none too good. One of the construction
workers that had helped them in setting up their facility tasted both products
and said, “I thought you guys new what you were doing, this is slop,” he said as
he took another big drink. “I suppose you could do better, wise ass.” “Oh hell
yes, I was an apprentice with Barble Beer before I got this Job. I'll make you a
deal' let me make a carboy (five gallon water bottle) of beer and if it is not better
than this I will drink it all. Austin said “No matter who made a carboy of beer
you would drink it all” “True.” said Gene, the construction worker but seriously
maybe I could give you some pointers.” With that he went into the brewery, got
out the equipment and proceeded to show them how to brew a small batch of
beer. Ten days later it was ready to drink. “This may be the best beer I have
ever tasted,” Byron, Suds said “How would like a part time job as brew meister?
Maybe I can do better than that. Gene called Tim on his cell, “Tim where are
you?” Gene ask. “Carla and I are at the spa, who is this Gene?” Yeah it's Gene,
look Byron and Austin and I have a deal for you we will be right there.” They all
three jumped into the cart that Gene had come over in and took off or the spa.
They were there in ten minutes. “OK Tim here is the deal, I would like for you to
give me a permanent assignment in the Hour Glass or doing something that
would benefit The Company enough that you could justify it, have you got
anything like that?” “I don't know of anything off hand Gene but I will keep it in
mind, why the request?” “I'll tell you why Tim, I recently tasted some brew that
these two dodo's made and you almost couldn't drink the stuff, it was terrible.”
“Terrible,” Austin repeated. “Then I made them a carboy full of good beer and
Byron said it was the best beer he had ever tasted. I know how to make beer
and they don't. Since this is the only brewery on Mars don't you think it would
be in the beer drinking publics best interest to have good beer?” “I agree but let
me think, I know we don't have a park ranger in the hour glass yet and there are
valuable natural beauty assets there that need to be protected. We already
have rangers on duty in paradise and The Company cavern to protect the fish,
how would you like to be the ranger at the Hour Glass, Gene?” “Fantastic, I
knew I could count on you Tim.” So it was that Hour glass brewery got a brew
meister and the folks on Mars got some really good beer.
Beer containers were a problem Austin and Byron hadn't thought of
before ordering all their other stuff, but Gene had the answer, I will just put a
large covered vat in the square and the customers can bring their own
containers. The kitchens have hundreds of plastic jugs that stuff they use
comes in and they have just been storing the empties in the back of one of the
caverns in hopes they would be of use some day. Well we can retrieve a
couple thousand of those jugs, wash them and give them to people that don't
have containers when they buy beer from our vat. Three weeks later they had
the vat set up and Byron was selling beer every evening from 1700 to 1900.
Gene turned out to be not a very good ranger but he was a heck of a brewer.
Most people swore that Hour Glass brewery on Mars made the best beer they
had ever tasted. Byron and Austin made so much money that they bought out
Genes contract with The Company and made him a partner. In the meantime
Gene, who was actually a pretty sharp guy had been hitting the Internet- and
boning up on wine making. After several hundred hours of study he thought he
was ready. He got out the ingredients and the equipment and proceed to make
a carboy of wine. It was a burgundy and it was pretty good so after Austin and
Byron approved he started making vats of it. He then tried a Chablis which was
also pretty good and Gene figured considering the competition it was good
enough. Within six months they were also selling table wine in the square, no
one seemed to rave about the wine like they did the beer but they bought it
anyway.
Also among the items that were brought in on Mars Runner were an
assortment of salt water fish and enough mixture to convert ten million gallons
of fresh water to salt water. Helen asked,”What do you need that stuff for, we
have plenty of salt in the caverns, there are big deposits of it. Grace told Helen
“There is a lot more than just salt in this mixture, Helen this is the residue that
results from the dehydration of ocean water. There are hundreds of nutrients in
this mixture that salt water fish require. For the next month Grace and Helen
and three crews were busy setting up the Ocean and introducing the salt water
fish.

CHAPTER - December 31, 2108: Happy new year 2109


January 7, 2109 : Tunneling starts to reach the long low 6th cavern nine
hundred feet away. This was a new experience for the drillers. So far the
caverns had been close enough to being on the same level but this dig was at a
six percent down grade the whole way. It was difficult to keep loose material
from getting in the way. A front end loader was constantly removing the loose
material. After a while they got the knack of it and started making pretty good
progress. At one hundred feet in they they ran into solid quartz. They
summoned Harold Dixon, the mine manager “what do you recommend we do
about this Harold?” “This is a good thing and a bad thing, I would like to take
some samples for assay and I would like for you to tunnel to get a crawl space
to the other side. Also get the scientists to get you some pictures of what this
looks like, I need to know the size and contents of this formation. Is there
another route you could take to still get to Utopia?” “There is a longer way, yes,
Lets get Tim and Carter and see if they have any idea's.” “A few minutes later
Tim showed up with Hal Johnson, and all the charts of known caverns in the
area. If you went to the side of the hourglass away from the winery and
changed direction and dug off to the right of the hour glass you would only have
a short dig 150 feet to a very large cavern that we can tell little about but we
know that it is almost 68 square miles in size and we really didn't want to have
to pressurize a hole that big at this time. Now, however since we have
additional atmosphere apparatus and have that big generator that we were
thinking of using in Utopia we could use it in that big cavern, assuming there is
water and a hot spot somewhere in there. If not we could lay down an air tight
tunnel which would be twelve miles long and then tunnel another two hundred
fifty feet and we come out in this little arm of Utopia.” Jonson mumbled as he
ran his finger over the chart. Harold said “I would like to see you guys go that
route and leave this quartz to us hard rock guys, there is no way to tell, of
course but I smell gold there.” as he pointed to the quartz barrier. “Why don't
you guys knock off for the rest of the day and I will have new marching orders
for you in the morning. Tim and Hal went back to the Government cavern and
connected with Paul and Carter. Johnson explained the plan change to them
and they agreed. “If Harold wants that quartz lets give it to him and take on the
little giant instead. I always kinda wanted to go that way in the first place. It
was just the challenge that cavern poses to our environmental facilities that sent
us on the route we were taking anyway.
January 20, 2109 The tunnelers started their dig again, this time to the
little giant. They ran in to lots of rocks but still managed to make pretty good
headway. The rocks were all being sent back for the scientists to study and
identify. These guys didn't know much about rocks but generally the harder
they are the more valuable they are, and these were very hard rocks, a hammer
wouldn't break one or cleave it.

CHAPTER – Breakthrough To the Little Giant cavern


February 14, 2109 The tunnel crew started work that morning in their
Mars suits with the airlock closed behind them. At 1042 one of the men hit the
wall with his pick and it went right on through. They finished opening up the
hole and only had to step down one foot to be standing in the Little Giant. This
was by far and away the most beautiful site they had ever seen on Mars. “Who
wants to reach Utopia, one of the men said, I think we have found it.” This
cavern was almost 20 miles long and almost 15 miles wide, 20 in places. The
floor of the cavern was covered with scrub brush like you would see in Arizona,
There were majestic cacti growing and in bloom with flowers, some of the plants
resembled giant saguaros some prickly pear and many other nameless
varieties. “With plants here the air must be breathable” “I already took a
reading it might be breathable but it is still very high in CO2. Once this cavern
is sealed our smallest atmosphere apparatus would keep it breathable. If it
weren't for the size of this place I would say just open the airlock and let it
equalize. The five hundred foot high sealing gave off a soft phosphorescent
glow like you would see on Earth just before dark. They could see a small
mountain chain in the distance. They were low but rather than being shaped
like hills they had peaks like real mountains. That night they sent one hundred
guys in Mars suits inside the cavern shining their lights up at the ceiling and had
another hundred guys in Mars suits looking for the light beams to break
through. Most of the cavern was covered by a mountain on the Martian
surface. The guys on the surface only found two small fissures and they filled
them right then and there with balloons dropped down ten feet into the fissure
and then inflated. They marked the locations then went back to the
Government cavern. Tim, Paul and Carter visited the cavern within the hour of
it being opened. “We just have to call this one Arizona,” Tim said. They all
agreed but it didn't matter, the tunneling crew called it that the moment they saw
it. The next morning with the temporary air seals in place from the night before
they started their pressurization test that took almost all day. When it finally
passed and was declared air tight they just opened the air lock and let the
atmosphere in their whole system equalize. The heat also equalized and the
atmosphere machines made short work of the little rise in CO2. The cavern
was first opened to the scientists. The more they looked the more they found,
Including several fire pits and many petroglyph's. People had once lived in this
place before the CO2 finally got them. Several photographers walked around
the walls taking still pictures and video's, the photographers then criss crossed
the entire floor of the cavern and photographed everything, that took five
photographers a week. But now they had it for posterity. Arizona turned out to
be 368 square miles in size not 68 as they had thought. Somehow the photos
they had taken twelveyears earlier on a flyby had failed to accurately catch the
whole cavern
Arizona was the only thing people could talk about. There was a small
creek feeding into a large almost dry lake bed. Samples had been taken of the
water and of the lake bed . That was not a problem, they already had more
water than they could use. All they had to do was to pipe it in.
February 20, 2109: Tunneling starts to reach Utopia two hundred fifty
feet away.
March 5, 2109 Mars Supply One docked and unloaded four hundred
more pallets of merchandise for Super Store. This time they brought 20 pallets
of fishing gear. So many residents had complained to Charlie Rasmussen
about the lack of fishing gear and the presence of fish on Mars that he thought
he would go overboard and over order on fishing gear.
With each ship that docked there were more and more of the
Government employees that were finishing their contracts and were eligible to
return to Earth, fewer and fewer of them did, however. Most stayed on as
independent citizens of Mars. Mars.com had even gone to posting help wanted
ads and people were posting job wanted ads but that was really unnecessary
because you could cover all the business on Mars in a couple hours and they
were all hiring. The pattern of remaining on Mars taking a job then researching
some kind of business you wanted to go into then ordering your business
equipment from Earth then opening for business soon developed. Mars now
had an insurance office which wasn't doing too well a one man attorney firm
that had no clients but they did have a sign on the door to call the attorney if
you wanted to talk to him.
March 5, 2109 : Super Store now had a lot of merchandise to offer the
customer and a pretty good selection but they had sold out of fishing gear. It
was hard to find a place to stand along the banks of the fish bearing waters of
Mars. I guess that since they didn't have many other sports then fishing had to
be the sport of choice. Like on Earth some caught fish and some didn't but on
Mars you had to deposit them in a bin that was sent to the kitchen. When the
bin was full everyone had reached their limit and the rangers made everyone
quit fishing or start throwing them back. If the kitchens had enough fish they
would not put the bins out and no one was allowed to fish unless they threw
them back. If you were a householder that had elected to be paid for separate
rations rather than to eat in the mess hall you were able to keep three fish to
cook at home. Everyone on Mars carried an ID card and those on separate
rations had that fact clearly stamped on their cards before they were laminated.
Because of the growing number of privately owned vehicles they found it
necessary to establish a Department of Motor Vehicles and to start issuing
license plates and drivers licenses. Every time they turned around a new
necessity arose and more jobs on the private and on the public sector arose to
fill the need. One interesting development was that many of the new agencies
were governed by the council and not by the Federal Government or the
company.
Abner complained that fishermen were showing up at the farm by the
dozens looking to buy worms. That evening Abner ordered ten million worms to
be sent to Mars at his expense. He also ordered ten thousand disposable cups
with lids. He would go in the worm business if there was that much demand.

CHAPTER - The breakthrough to Utopia


March 7, 2109 : The breakthrough to Utopia was kind of anticlimactic.
The cavern was huge, much larger than Arizona. There were 967 square miles
at floor level but it was a dead cavern with lots of fissures to fill and the floor
would need lots of leveling. The floor level of Arizona where they tunneled from
broke through to Utopia 20 feet off the floor. They just sealed the airlock and
declared their work done for now. They had reached Utopia and someday
some future generation could tame it. They could do the job but they didn't
need anything that Utopia had to offer and wouldn't for years to come. They
would have their hands full developing what they had already discovered and
tamed.
In the next year the space ships would continue to arrive and bring with
them more people, more equipment, more businesses. Tim had a hunch that
Arizona, Mars would begin to look a lot like down town Phoenix.
In the five years since Tim had become company manager The soil in
the Arizona cavern had been plowed and brought to life. Grow lights had been
installed one hundred feet off the cavern floor over the 160 square mile
agricultural area cavern. Ranch experts had been brought in and 20 square
miles had been dedicated to raising swine, goats and sheep. Fruit and
evergreen trees dotted the land. A new farm manager had been brought in to
grow alfalfa, wheat, barley and oats on another ten square miles of the surface.
Abner did not want to give up his little farm in the old company cavern so he still
produced eggs, rabbits, poultry, fruit and vegetables there. The growing
number of householders who now had kitchens and preferred to prepare their
own meals also preferred to obtain their food from Abner. What Abner
produced was minuscule to what the new farm manager was raising on the
acreage that he had under cultivation in Arizona cavern but Abner's products
were considered superior in quality. The new householder's were paid an
allowance from The Company for not taking their meals in the mess hall. They
used these funds to buy their food at the Supermarket which had become a part
of the new Super Store . The money that Abner took in from selling his
products had to be strictly accounted for and turned over to the company. The
Company did still own Abner's farm and Abner was still a Company employee.
Ten square miles of the surface of Arizona was the industrial district.
They now had their own smelter, foundry, machine shop, plastics fabricating
plant, a flower mill a commercial bakery and a lumber mill, installed and just
waiting for their trees to get large enough to harvest so they could start cutting
their own lumber.
Near the cavern entrance a small city had sprung up. It had been
dubbed New Phoenix. Almost everyone on Mars was moving to New Phoenix.
There was a whole new generation of engineers and scientists at work
digging new tunnels and opening new caverns. Mars itself could now support a
population numbering in the millions but the three working ships could only
transport so many passengers, about 2,400 per year. As new caverns
continued to be opened and pressurized there were a few individuals that for
one reason or another wanted to live in them. Mostly these were farmers and
ranchers. Some planted cotton, some trees, some wheat or other grain crops.
The new caverns were being put to good use.
One of the new caverns about four miles out from Arizona had a unique
set of features. The cavern covered about sixteen square miles but the floor
was certainly not level. It would have been a tremendous engineering feet to
even have attempted to level it. The floor of the cavern looked like the side of a
mountain on Earth. The cavern had been tunneled into at the low side. It would
have been impractical to have allowed for such a steep clime to exit the cavern
so the crew just left the air lock in place. They drilled another tunnel out of the
previous cavern into the next cavern off to the right of the sealed cavern. The
floor of the new cavern that they reached was relatively flat. They just
continued on through that cavern and continued opening new caverns. They
figured the steep sided cavern would never serve any worthwhile purpose.
On an inspection tour Tim donned his Mars suit and asked to enter the
sealed off cavern. After seeing it he couldn't get it out of his mind. He came up
with an idea. After talking with the atmosphere control group he was elated. He
wrote up a proposal under the name of one of his corporations. He plainly
stated in the offer that he was not only the CEO of that company but that he
was the only stockholder. Tim offered to purchase the cavern for one million
dollars. He was first told that he should submit it through the Company, Mars
Colony, Inc. since they owned the abandoned cavern, but when he pointed out
that it would be a conflict of interest for him to do that because he was the
Company Manager, they agreed to have the Council act on approval of the
offer. The offer was accepted but no one could understand why Tim wanted the
useless cavern. The purchase was made with a ten percent down payment and
payments for 30 years at seven percent interest.
Since there were so many people wanting title to the land they lived on
Tim decided to have a couple with Real Estate appraisal experience start
appraising the property that people occupied and setting a price for purchasing
the real estate. The bank had agreed to make thirty year mortgages with ten
percent down at 7% interest. The first applicant was Abner Jacobs, who had
recently formed a new closed corporation with the three couples who worked
the farm as the only other stockholders. The Company was called Paradise
Farms, Inc. They wanted to buy the entire Government cavern and the old
company cavern and the orchard. They did not want to buy the installed utilities
but agreed to give The Company access to them. The appraisal came in at
only eight million dollars and Abner jumped at it. He transferred $800,000 from
their corporate bank account to Mars Colony, Inc and all the principals signed
the mortgage papers. From then on when you crossed from Paradise to the old
area you encountered a new sign that read “Welcome to Paradise Farms.”
Hour Glass, Inc. was the next company that wanted to purchase the
land that they leased from the company. Unlike Abner's farm they had been
private a enterprise business since Inception, it is just that had leased their land
from the company. The appraisers were instructed to appraise the value of the
raw land only and not the crops and improvements which had been installed by
the tenants. Their appraisal for just the land came back at 26 million dollars and
Hour Glass, Inc. opted to buy it. They could have paid all cash by this time but
took the mortgage anyway.
Many of the factory managers of production facilities located in New
Phoenix quickly formed new corporations some were closed corporations and
some were traded on the over the counter exchange operated by Paul
Silverman. They obtained appraisals and in all cases the corporations bought
the businesses, land, buildings, machinery and equipment. A couple of them
had thought appraisals had come back a little on the high side and had ask for
a hearing. The two attorney's would plead the case before a committee
designated by the Council and the Committee would render a verdict. They
usually split the difference and everybody had thought they had won the case.
After attorney fees they had both lost.

@CHAPTER – Mars Runner Returns


May 28, 2109 : Six hundred new immigrants were on board, half of them
to open more than fifty new businesses, the other 300 were workers for Mars
industries. Cargo contained the machinery and equipment, furniture and
fixtures to expand existing industry on Mars, and the for the new businesses.
June 18, 2110: A new one hundred bed hospital opened in New Phoenix
equipped with all the latest medical equipment from Earth. The staff Included at
a minimum, two specialists in every major category of medical arts. There was
a new small medical college program started a year later with 22 students in the
first class. Practicing Dr's served as the instructors. Upon graduation the
students were to serve a two year stint as interns and then an apprenticeship
with the doctors who were practicing the specialty they had selected. Pediatrics
and family medicine were very popular but there were two doctors in New
Phoenix practicing family medicine who had specialties in geriatric medicine
though there were no geriatric patients at this time.
Abner finally got the Earth worms he had ordered, along with the cups,
lids and five hundred pounds of corn meal that would feed them for years. He
got permission to raise them on a small plot of land at the farm. The worms
multiplied rapidly. Abner did not start selling them until his stock had doubled
then he let everyone know over talk radio that he had worms for sale. Business
was brisk. Abner and the other five people on the farm only worked with the
worms for sale when they were off duty but they were allowed to keep the
money that they earned.
The fish had a chance to mature and multiply. Fishing was now fair to
good in more than thirty lakes and streams on Mars. Boats with electric motors
trolled the lakes, people partied and cooked on the docks.
As predicted the Ivy had spread, climbing up the walls of all the caverns.
Now when one traveled anywhere on Mars they got the impression that they
were in a place of lush greenery because growing greenery was what the eye
caught no matter what direction one looked. Most of what they were seeing
was Ivy but all of the gardens, vineyards and orchards were thriving.
September 14, 2110: One of the women who had remained on Mars
when her contract was up with the Government approached Abner one evening.
Abner I took a job at Burger Boy because I couldn't decide what kind of
business I would enjoy working at. I have enough money to go into business
for myself and I do a lot of fishing. I think what I would like to do is to open a
bait and tackle shop. If I did that would you keep me supplied with worms. The
worked out a deal for Sarah to market the worms. Sarah then placed a large
order with a sporting goods wholesaler in California. The next thing she did was
to have friends of hers and the people working on the farm go to Super Store
and buy all the fishing gear they would sell them. Once she had all the new
fishing gear on Mars she leased the lot built the building in the square at The
Company cavern and hung out her shingle. “Sarah's Bait and Tackle Shop”
Everyone on talk radio could talk of nothing else for a few days. Some of them
were not too happy because Sarah had doubled the price that she had paid
Super Store for her inventory and raised the price of the worms that she got
from Abner. People grumbled a little but they understood. Sarah became the
local fishing guru and gave free advise with every item she sold. Within six
months she had received her own inventory from California and Super Store
had replaced theirs. Sarah's business was a success and Sarah was a very
happy camper.
February 3, 2111: Over the years since Tim and Carla had arrived, a few
pet lovers had bit the bullet and paid the one hundred thousand dollars fare to
have a dog, or a cat and a few cases even a parrot brought to Mars. Tim had
finally realized that on Earth having a pet around was a part of growing up, and
the kids now growing up on Mars were missing out on this experience. With the
arrival of each new ship there was less and less demand to Include only critical
items on the cargo manifest. Also there was the fact that Mars was now able to
provide ample food for the population and still have a surplus. Tim had
arranged for one couple who had completed their contracts with the
Government to open a pet store. He also arranged for them to be able to
import up to one hundred pets aboard every ship that arrived from now on to be
shipped for $100.00 each, providing the pet store owner agreed to no more
than double his money when he resold them on Mars. The pet store owners
proved very canny and began to purchase females that were pregnant or in
heat. By 2117 there would be thousands of pets of every kind on the planet.
So many that New Phoenix had to establish an Animal control agency and a
pound, where pets could be adopted. No pet was ever subjected to euphemism
on Mars.
April 4, 2112: There almost one hundred children in New Phoenix due to
start Kindergarten but so far there were no schools. Not only were there almost
one hundred this year but there would be twice that many next year. Tim
authorized funds to build and equip a school. Tim provided enough land but
only authorized hiring or reassigning enough teachers to handle Kindergarten
and preschool programs. Tim warned the council that this facility was hereby
donated to them and they should construct the buildings and hire the teachers
by next year when they would have first graders to contend with. This lead to
the bank putting up the funds and the local Government obligating itself for
repayment. The council became disparate and had to figure out some kind of
tax scheme to support the schools. They debated all sort of taxes but there just
wasn't enough tax base to provide the funds that they required short of
imposing an Income tax.
May 15, 2112: The council enacted an Income tax bill, then realized they
also needed an Internal Revenue Service to collect the tax. Soooooooo on....
May 16, 2112: They created the IRS of Mars. This served as an
interesting beginning to a very familiar cycle. They had already realized some
Income from DMV fees, but they started considering a duty tax also. As a result
of this the first grade classrooms were built, equipped and staffed with local tax
revenue. So far so good but they had the second grade looming over their
heads.

CHAPTER – Mars gets a Zoo, Tims Investment


August 12, 2116: Tim was at home one evening and little Jimmy who was
now in Kindergarten was looking at pictures in an Earth book entitled “A Day At
The Zoo” Jimmy kept asking Carla and Tim about the animals that he saw in the
book. Tim and Carla did the best they could to explain each one to him but
finally Tim said to Carla, “That does it we are going to have a Zoo in New
Phoenix.” Six months later the zoo was a reality only The Company intervened
to a degree. The Company had a mandate in their contract with the
Government that they had signed years before prohibiting them from exporting
any animals from Earth that could be considered a threat to mankind. They
couldn't send venomous snakes because they might bight someone, they
couldn't send bears because they might maul someone, they couldn't send wild
cats because they might attack someone, and they couldn't send elephants
because, well, they were just too damned heavy to handle. Mars got it's zoo
but it mostly contained llamas and alpacas and the like. They got five Panda's,
some kangaroos and other harmless Marsupials a large variety of harmless bird
species. Actually Panda's and kangaroos could harm people but the company
fudged a little on the rules for certain animals.
Parrots abounded on Mars. Most were wild but many people had tamed
them for pets. There were more than twenty varieties of parrots. They could be
found in all the caverns. The Zoo had opossums and raccoons and badgers
and penguins but nothing that man need fear. There were even twelve head of
Cattle brought up from Earth and displayed at the zoo. Even though cows
produced an enormous amount of methane the atmosphere could handle
twelve of them. The herd was never allowed to become larger than that. The
surplus animals were slaughtered for meat but the kids never knew that. It
was OK with the kids that there were no dangerous animals, they loved going to
the zoo. Chimps and monkeys proved to be the most popular with the kids.
Ant's and flies didn't really belong in a zoo but the zoo had those also. They, it
seems had invited themselves.
March 21,2117: The value of Tims stock in Mars Colony, Inc. had gone
up one hundred fold in the nine years he had been buying it. He figured the
time was right to get out of the market, draw his Swiss Account down to one
hundred dollars, cancel his trust agreement with his bank on Earth and then
somehow arrange to have the funds transferred to his account at First Colonial
Bank in New Phoenix. He felt he could better handle his investments himself in
New Phoenix. Tim worked out a deal to have Paul's family arrange the
transfers. Of course Paul's family charged a ten percent handling fee but there
were no inquiries from the IRS. When all was said and done Tim ended up with
a little over one hundred million dollars divided up between his seven different
First Colonial accounts.
March 23, 2117: The first thing that Tim did was to order twenty million
dollars worth of products from Earth. These included Redwood, Cedar, Glass,
furnishings for hotel rooms, furnishings for a first class bar and restaurant and
two million dollars worth of winter sporting goods. Tim also ordered over one
thousand warm hooded jackets. The items were all promised for delivery within
the next six months. Tim contracted with the private sector to have his sloped
floor cavern sealed and pressurized. The temperature inside the cavern was a
consistent twenty nine degrees.
Tim once again contracted with a private sector firm to do extensive
grading and sculpturing of his hillside. The hill was more than a mile higher at
the high side than it was at the low side. After descending for four miles it
leveled off making a flat plane extending to the far wall on the low side.
Tim purchased an old atmosphere making apparatus that was now being
stored in reserve. He had the machine installed in his cavern. With the
modifications that he already knew could be easily made he had a new control
installed on the machine that raised the moisture level of the atmosphere in the
cavern enough to generate falling snow when it was set above a setting of
seven. He turned it to eight and let it snow. The next ship to arrive on Mars
brought the building materials that Tim had ordered. The next brought the
equipment and merchandise. Tim had a new three stage automatic opening
airlock installed in the tunnel leading to his property. The tunnel had been
expanded to allow for one lane of traffic in each direction as well as a moving
sidewalk to accommodate pedestrian traffic in and out of the facility. The traffic
was channeled into a huge cement block building with a parking lot, benches
tables, several fast food restaurants and several other small businesses . One
of the small business sold and rented Nordic clothing, another sold all sorts of
ski paraphernalia. There was a desk manned by several employees seated at
terminals that made reservations and sold entertainment packages that
included food and lodging while vacationing in the cavern. The one week
beginners package included seven days and six nights with unlimited use of the
ski lift, a room and all meals for $6,000.00 beginners were eligible to attend as
many beginner classes as they wanted when they bought the beginners
package. The entry building was always heated to a comfortable 74 degrees.
There was an exit triple sliding doors at the back of the building leading into the
cavern. Large signs warned the patrons not to pass through these doors unless
they were dressed for cold weather. Once inside the cavern the customer could
board a free tram that would whisk them away to the Lodge. Just beyond the
lodge there was a one hundred acre skating rink that was always open and
always available to the public without charge. Of course the only place on Mars
that sold ice skates and winter clothing was Tims store in the entrance building.
By the time the project was completed and opened to the public Tim had
invested virtually all of the money he had accumulated. The ski lodge proved
so successful that Tim started recovering his investment in record time.

CHAPTER – New Phoenix, an American City

September 27, 2117 Tim and Carla Look back on their Mars Experience:
Tim sat at a table with Carla and little Jimmy in Downtown New Phoenix. They
were at Pablo's Mexican Restaurant, Carla was drinking a glass of Martian
Chablis that had been re rated from good to excellent. There were 427,520
acres in New Phoenix and Tim had his. With a five bedroom ranch house
sitting on it, unlike most homes Tims home actually had a roof and doors and
windows just like they had on Earth. All of the furniture had been selected from
the internet and ordered from Earth. Some of it had arrived and some of their
furniture was still en route. In the meantime they were making do with the
cheap knock down stuff. Tim's home was equipped just as it would have been
on Earth with an up to date all electric kitchen, flush toilets, everything that any
home maker on Earth could want Carla had on Mars. “Tomorrow is an
anniversary for us Carla, it was ten years ago tomorrow that we first set foot on
Mars. Our contract with The Company is up tomorrow. How about it, do you
want to return to Earth?” “Carla gave him a quizzical expression and said “What
are you nuts, I don't even want to go there for a visit.
December 31, 2117, January 1, 2118: Revelers had packed the
downtown area to see the new year in. Tim and Carla were having coffee at
home and listening to Rusty on MARS-TV. Rusty had described the way things
had been at that New Years celebration ten years earlier when they had only
two caverns. Rusty then launched into a rundown on the status of things today.
What a difference ten years had made.
“The Mars orbiter has been repositioned over the Utility cavern and
everything and everyone that arrive from Earth is deposited there. Abner's farm
and Graces fish hatchery are all that remain in the old company cavern. The
almost dry lake at New Phoenix has been filled and populated with over 20
varieties of fresh water fish. The old Government cavern would look like a
ghost town except that everything that could be pillaged has been. Abner has
been talking about planting more fruit trees there next year once he gets more
grow lights. All the bureaucrats now work out of the new State office building in
New Phoenix.”
“The Winery has usurped the entire half of the Hour Glass where their
original winery and brewery once stood The facility now covers some nine
thousand acres. One thousand acres are now planted in corn. The new
distillery started bottling a whiskey made from eighty percent corn two years
before. Their new product comes out at 160 proof, eighty percent alcohol.
Many of us are feeling the after effects of that product this morning.” (Hour
Glass Corp., or as the local people called it 'The Glass' had intended to age the
product in wood but were never able to acquire the necessary casks.) The
Martian grapes are magnificent, a bottle of good Martian wine will fetch $500.00
in New York. Most of the output however was consumed on Mars. The brewery
even sold their beer in bottles now but there were still those that swore it was
not as good as what they used to get in the gallon jugs.)
“A paved concrete highway runs all the way from Abner's farm through
Paradise, which is now a State campground. and the ocean cavern which has
become a very popular salt water fishing resort, then through the Hour Glass
and on in to New Phoenix. We now have over one hundred paved streets in
New Phoenix and room for many more when they became necessary. The
population of Mars is now 28,600 and growing because ten percent of the
population is under eleven years of age. The downtown area has begun to look
like the downtown area of any other small City. Now the workers that were
here to see the new year in in 2108 have completed their contracts. They are
eligible to return to Earth but few of them want to. Some of the Government
people who had finished their ten year contracts and left Mars had returned
within the year.” Rusty's ramblings got Tim to thinking of some of the other
developments. There were six public bus routes running. There was one route
from each quadrant of the city into city center. There was one from the city
center out to the industrial area. There was one from Abner's farm through
Paradise, Big Lake, the Hour Glass, the Ocean and on into city center. The Ski
Lodge sent a bus back and forth to city center but that was not part of the public
transportation system.
“Paul was still on Mars but was no longer the Director of the
Government operations he had opened a jewelery store and was making
fantastic jewelery with Martian diamonds and gold, for sale on Earth. Tim and
Carla had realized two and a half million dollars from his find. There were no
other diamonds found on Mars for almost six years and Paul was able to
contain the news of those finds and had most of them in his vault at the
jewelery store. So as not to ruin the diamond market on Earth. Actually there
weren't that many but there were enough to make Paul a very wealthy and
happy man. Paul had two of his nephews brought up to Mars with their wives
and children and they worked in the store with Paul. They weren't really his
Nephews but he referred to them as his that. It looked as though there would
always be a community of ascetic Jews in the diamond business on Mars,” Tim
mused.
“In 2111 Carter Fredrick was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2112.
Many types of cancer were now treatable and curable, but not the kind Carter
had. Tim of course was selected to replace him as manager of Mars Colony,
Inc. on Mars.
January 2, 2118: Tim's salary was raised to $65,000.00 per month. Over
the last ten years the government's role on Mars had continued to diminish
while the companies role had grown. Though Tim wouldn't admit it he was now
the most powerful man on Mars. In effect he was the most powerful man in the
universe, he ruled an entire planet, and his appointment was for life. The
President of the United States had to be elected to a limited term of office. Hal
Jonson was now Superintendent of construction.

CHAPTER – The new frontier, ARTON


A new planet was being developed and populated by man in the Alpha
Centauri system that was almost identical to Earth in size and atmosphere but it
was still in the age of the dinosaurs. New space craft developed on Earth could
accelerate to ten times the speed of light. It didn't take much longer to travel to
the new planet Arton than it took to travel to Mars in one of the old ships. It
looked like there would never be another Mars ship built and both Mars and
Earth were satisfied with that arrangement. Mars had now reached the point of
self sufficiency and could survive indefinitely without ever being visited by
another space ship. The two Mars Supply ships and the Mars Runner were too
slow to be put to use anywhere else so now they were just vehicles used for
interplanetary trade between Mars and Earth and for transporting more
colonists to Mars.
February 4, 2118: “Tim was curious about Arton and the ships that
navigated deep space so he gave George Schultz a call and asked him,
“George, what can you tell me about Arton and the ships that fly people there?”
George said I am headed for the observatory right now so why don't you meet
me at the elevator and I will give you the whole rundown. Tim met George a
few minutes later. They got boarded the elevator and started their assent.
George began, “When man succeeded conquering the the sound barrier
it became common jargon to refer to the speed of sound as Mach One. Early
Science Fiction Writers, well over one hundred years ago writing about ships
that would exceed the speed of light dubbed the speed of light as Warp One
and a ship traveling above that speed as traveling at Warp two or Warp five
or whatever. That term stuck and today we refer to a ship traveling at eleven
times the speed of light as traveling at Warp 11.”
I guess you know, Tim that Arton is an Earth like planet in the Alpha
Centauri system. It was discovered about thirty years ago by an observatory
orbiting around Earth. It has two suns visible so it has long days and short
nights. It has no moon. The Alpha Centauri system is about 4.5 light years
from Earth and is the nearest solar system to Earth. When they built the Mars
Supply One they discovered that an atomic powered space ship could continue
to accelerate indefinitely. They didn't want to put too much strain on the Mars
Supply One but while it was in the testing stage they did on one occasion push
it just over Warp one. They didn't exactly disprove Einstein's theory of Relativity
but they did prove that it did not apply to traveling faster than the speed of light.”
“A much larger ship than Mars Supply One was the next space ship
constructed. It carried a reactor that put out ten times the the power of the one
on Mars Supply One and carried engines more than ten times as powerful. It
was dubbed the Arton One, after the planet and the planet was named after the
man who had discovered it, Jose Arton. After a maiden voyage to Mars and
back it went on a mission to Arton. On that first mission they were able to
accelerate to a speed of eleven times the speed of light and on the trip out the
ship averaged a speed of nine times the speed of light. The speed of light
never turned out to be the barrier that man had always thought it would be. The
part of Einstein's equation that dealt with time travel commencing when the
speed of light was exceeded has still never been put to the test. It is kind of like
the question “If a tree falls over in a forest does it make any noise if there is no
one to hear it” The crew of the ship found out that a voyage that should take six
months took six months. When they made Arton orbit they never knew what
day it was back on Earth and had no way to find out. Radio waves traveling at
the speed of light would take four and a half years to reach Earth and they
would be back on Earth in six and a half months. Since completion of the A1the
United States has completed a total of four Arton ships, they have been dubbed
the Arton One, the Arton Two, the Arton Three and the Arton Four.” The ships
have more formal names but no one uses them.
Tim asked, “What would happen if a ship traveling at that speed hit an
object in space?” “So far an Arton ship has never hit a space object while
traveling at warp speed, or if it has it never knew it. We suppose that if a ship
traveling at warp speed were to collide with an object, say the size of Earth's
moon it might penetrate the surface to considerable depth and when the speed
was no longer greater than the speed of light the ship would just come to a stop
and be lodged forever in the moon sized object. Apparently, since large objects
in space are rare and far apart the men piloting the ship can see them light
years away, in plenty of time to avoid a collision. There is a lot of space junk in
our solar system so when a ship enters the solar system it reduces speed and
proceeds through at sub-warp speeds. Instruments then warn of any object in
plenty of time to avoid hitting it. The Arton ships are gaining more confidence in
navigating within the solar system and are constantly Increasing their speed.
The Arton ships have also been fitted with new retro engines that can slow them
from near warp one to 86 thousand miles an hour in less than one hour
without causing the crew any distress. It is marvelous what they are doing with
those ships now, Tim.”
“Communications is the biggest problem. We have never figured out
how to make radio waves travel faster than the speed of light. Virtually the only
way for us to communicate with Arton and the colony that is thriving there now
is by space ship. It would take nine years for you to send a radio message to
Arton and receive an answer, so every outgoing ship carries hundreds of
messages for Arton and every Incoming ship carries replies. There is no way to
communicate with a ship traveling at warp speed, radio waves would never
catch up to them.”
“We have been colonizing Arton for over eight years. The population is
now in the thousands. They need people more than anything else. It is a
planet rich in plants and minerals. Of course they have transported a lot of
machinery and tools to Arton but mostly people. Each ship the A1and now the
Arton Two make one round trip a year. They have at times carried up to three
thousand people on one flight. Without cargo they can be rigged to carry five
thousand people because the cargo hold can be pressurized.”
Tim already knew that there were many varieties of mineral ore
becoming scarce on Earth fortunately they were plentiful on Mars. Several
were being successfully mined on Mars and shipped back to Earth on the
empty ships returning from Arton.
While he was talking George had been making adjustments on the
telescope. George said “Watch that monitor on the wall over there Tim.” The
twelve foot by eight foot screen flickered briefly then displayed a group of stars.
George activated a hand held pointer that projected a red arrow on the screen.
He moved it to near the center of the screen. “You see that double star right
there Tim, Arton orbits the sun on the left, Arton passes between the suns once
a year. This causes long periods of daylight during that season. Fortunately
they are far enough from the sun on the right so that the heat does not increase
significantly it just stays daylight or what we would call twilight for a couple
months a year.
“This light right here” George said as he pointed to a dim light just to the
left of the sun on the left. “This is Arton.” Tim studied the view of that part of
the heavens briefly. “Thanks George, thanks to you I can now picture things
much better.”
CHAPTER – Mars is being slighted
2118: There really weren't that many qualified people left on Earth that
wanted to migrate to Mars. Arton was where the action was now. The two
Mars Supply ships were beginning to show their age and there was talk of
retiring them. That would only leave Mars Runner in active service. If they did
retire the two older ships then they would have the ships returning from Arton
stop at Mars and load up with supplies destined for Earth from Mars. In that
way the population of Mars would continue to grow by about twelve hundred
immigrants and six or seven hundred natives per year. That would be a
sustainable growth rate that Tim figured Mars could live with for a thousand
years.
March 4, 2118: Instead of retiring the Mars Supply One and the Mars
Supply Two the company had received a very attractive offer from Regency
Cruise Lines out of London. If Mars Colony Inc. would sell Regency the two
ships for one dollar each Regency would extensively remodel them and keep
them in service as tourist cruise ships. Regency agreed to transport up to ten
passengers each way to and from Mars for as long as the ships stayed in
service, at no cost to Mars Colony, Inc. Regency also wanted at no cost to them
a five acre site in New Phoenix where they could construct a top rate hotel.
Mars Colony Inc. figured out that would be tantamount to selling the ships to
Regency for one hundred million dollars and it wouldn't cost Mars Colony, Inc.
for keeping the ships in moth balls or dismantling them. The head office of
Mars Colony, Inc. in San Francisco made the deal without even consulting Tim
on Mars.
April 15, 2118: Regency had committed three billion dollars to this deal.
They figured that it would cost them one billion dollars each to remodel the two
ships, one half billion to build the hotel in New Phoenix and another half billion
to buy the ski cavern on Mars.
Tim couldn't believe his eyes when he received the offer from Regency
Cruise Lines to buy the ski resort for five hundred million dollars. Tim had built
the whole project out of his own cash accounts in his various corporations. All
he owed was about nine hundred thousand to First Colonial Bank, on the real
estate. He had paid cash for all the improvements. Not only that but he had
already recovered most of his original investment. Tim didn't even try to get
them to increase their offer, he just accepted it. Most of what he received was
paid in the form of stock in Regency Cruises, Inc. When the transaction
became known on Wall Street the value of Regency stock immediately doubled
in value and Tim sold. The funds were transferred to Tim's various accounts at
First Colonial.
June 4, 2120: Tim later saw an ad on the internet for Mars eighteen
month Mars ski vacation packages and first class accommodations. This
package included taking a first class cruise ship to Mars and back and up to six
months on the planet with option to stay at the Grand Regency in New Phoenix
and or The Ski Lodge plus many other perks. Packages started at two and a
half million dollars or four million for two people. Apparently word had filtered
back to Earth about how much more fun it was to ski in low gravity. Tim was
forever amazed at how many people had the time and the money to take one of
these cruises. More than a thousand tourists arrived on either the Regency
King or the Regency Prince twice a year. Apparently Regency had made a
good investment. Regency even cut the price that Tim had been charging Mars
Locals to use the ski lift facilities and to stay at the lodge although staying at the
Regency Lodge was on a space available basis for the locals. That didn't matter
much because anyone on Mars could reach the resort by golf cart in less than
two hours.
Earth type electric cars had never taken hold on Mars. They were
cumbersome to get in and out of and no one ever needed the heater or air
conditioner that they offered. The driving distances were so short that anyone
that wanted private transportation just bought a six passenger golf cart. The
golf carts would go 40 miles per hour and that was faster than anyone on Mars
ever drove anyway. There were dealerships in Phoenix that sold several
different brands of golf carts. They also sold electric bicycles and tricycles,
which were very popular for personal transportation.
The daily workouts at the gym were a drag, everyone hated and dreaded
them. Still they feared the consequences of not working out more. One thing
that could be said for the workouts was that the population of Mars was fit.
There just weren't any obese people to be found on the planet. The people did
get some relief though, The daily vitamins and the monthly shots were no longer
required. The vitamins and medication that they had been receiving was now
available from the atmosphere. Just the act of breathing provided a person,
and perhaps even more importantly the animals with all their required nutrients
and medications. In fact the atmosphere program proved so effective that the
requirement for one hours exercise per day had been officially reduced to one
half hour four days per week. A few people kept up with one hour per day
because they were so accustomed to it but most cut back to the new minimum.
Little progress had been made converting the atmosphere on the surface
of Mars. A new hearty plant that could resist the intense UV rays, had been
developed that was super efficient at photosynthesis, converting CO2 glucose
and oxygen. They had figured out how to plant in a saturated mulch rich in
nitrates that supplied water to the roots. The water had to be replaced annually.
They had almost a million of these bushes now growing on the Mars surface. In
order to make the atmosphere on the surface breathable they would need
billions of them. There were over twenty full time gardeners that did nothing but
tend these plants. It was a job that nobody wanted because you had to work
full time in a Mars suit. As a result of just these plants they had noticed a one
percent in oxygen a five percent Increase in nitrogen and a six percent
decrease in CO2 in just five years. The best sign of improvement so far though
is that an ozone layer is beginning to form and some of the UV rays are
beginning to lessen. At that rate the atmosphere on the surface might be
breathable in two hundred years without a Mars suit, or at least it wouldn't be
instantly lethal.
There was a belt that had been designed for use on Earth's moon that
would completely encircle the moon and with the aid of counter balanced
runners inside the belt begin to Increase the spin of the planetoid. Tim didn't
really understand how it would work but the scientists and engineers working on
the project insisted that it would. The object was to get the moon spinning fast
enough to retain an atmosphere. If that worked then they would try it on Mars.
If Mars revolved a little faster, raising the gravity to 50% of Earth's then Mars
would be able to sustain an atmosphere of Nitrogen and oxygen and the
surface would become inhabitable. That however was, at best more than a
hundred years off. It was a good plan but it never got off the drawing board.

CHAPTER – President of United States wants Utopia developed


September 10, 2124: The President of the United States had been
wondering ever since he was in high school why they had never developed the
Utopia cavern on Mars. He contacted the current Mars Council Chairman by
email and asked about developing the huge cavern. The President of the
council explained by return email that “Yes, Mr. President, we would love to
develop Utopia but there are several reasons that we haven't. One we don't
have the necessary generators to light it; we don't have the atmosphere
equipment to pressurize it; we do not have the population pressure to require it.
The President discussed it with his cabinet and the senate and the house
of representatives. Then he went public and discussed it with the press.
Articles appeared on the internet and on TV. Suddenly there was a new interest
in Mars. Polls were taken and Congress appropriated funds and it was decided
that Utopia should be opened and developed.
September 17, 2124:: When Tim had all the details of the Presidents
plan he called a special meeting of the Council. “As you know, ladies and
gentlemen, for the past several years Mars has received little attention from
Earth. The United States Government has now decided that the time would be
right to open up the Utopia cavern. They are committed to sending us the
necessary equipment to handle that huge cavern along with twelve thousand
new settlers. All four of the Arton ships are coming home from Arton now and
there is no demand on Arton at the present time for more settlers or anything
else from Earth. They will need supplies by next year but for the next few
months the Arton ships will be hauling all their cargo to Mars. I don't believe
that we would need to develop Utopia in order to accommodate the people they
are sending but I wouldn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. All twelve
thousand settlers will be arriving between November of 2124 and March of
2125. We need to prepare to absorb all of them within a five month period.
The first thing we will need is a reception center for temporary housing.
We will need to set up kitchen and dining room facilities to feed that many
people three times a day and we will need adequate rest room facilities. We
should have a well stocked supply room in order to provide them with phones,
radios, air mattresses, blankets and personal necessities. Since we anticipate
that the first 3,000 of them could be arriving within 45 days we will need to start
getting ready for them now. If there are any businesses that have been holding
off expansion because of a shortage of employees this might be a good time for
them to expand.”
Perhaps the Council could take over the project of locating jobs for these
people or create public jobs for them. Mars Colony, Inc. will be able to hire a
lot of them working on the development of Utopia.
The list of necessary hardware was obtained from Mars then assembled
on Earth and loaded onto the Arton ships as they returned from Arton and Mars.
Arton Four was already in Earth orbit so it was loaded first.
October 17, 2124: Arton Two returned from Arton with five passengers
and several thousand Artonian plants and made Earth orbit.
November 5, 2124: Arton Four departed Earth. In addition to the cargo
of geothermal generators and atmosphere equipment they carried construction
equipment, tunneling equipment and tons of miscellaneous items. Three
thousand settlers were taken on board.
November 12, 2124: The Arton Four made Mars orbit. The six shuttles on
Mars began removing the settlers the next day. In New Phoenix they were
housed temporarily in the new reception center. These people had been
transported to Mars at Government expense and had no contractual obligations
to Mars Colony, Inc. as people in the past had when they arrived on Mars. Tim
had a company hiring office set up near the entrance to the reception center
and began signing people up the day after the first settlers arrived. Tim could
not start on the project however until the cavern was sealed and pressurized
and the new equipment was unloaded from the ships. Tim already had existing
crews working on those jobs. The new employees received a $25,000.00
signing bonus when they were signed to three year contracts so they could find
or build a place to live. They continued to dine in the mess hall paid for jointly
by The Company and the Council. The Martians were afraid that these new
comers would not meet the same high standards as those that The Company
had previously hired on Earth and transported up. They were pleasantly
surprised to find that the Government had done a pretty good screening job and
the ones that they had interviewed so far well screened before being selected.
November 27, 2124: Arton Two had been loaded with cargo of heavy
equipment and raw materials for the development of Utopia. Three thousand
more settlers were brought on board on the 26th so the Arton Two left Earth for
Mars the next day.
December 5, 2124: Arton One returned from Arton and made Earth orbit.
The authorities on Mars had notified the President that a bottle neck had formed
in Mars orbit. They simply did not have enough shuttle to unload the
A1immediately. It had taken the shuttles ten days just to transport the
passengers from Arton Four to Mars.
December 6, 2124: The Arton Two made Mars orbit. The Mars shuttles
began transporting passengers to the Utility cavern before starting to unload
cargo from Arton Four. The population of Mars had grown by over six thousand
in the last thirty days. Mars was easily able to cope with this influx of people.
The Company was still hiring all that wanted employment but The Company
deferred to local businesses until they had met their recruitment goals. Once all
the passengers from the Arton Two were in the reception center there were four
thousand seven hundred people housed there.
January 10, 2125: Six additional shuttles were nearing completion or in
testing in the U.S. These were earmarked for Mars and loaded on the A1as
cargo. Once the shuttles were loaded they noticed how much empty space
remained in the hold of the A1the ship was filled with another huge assortment
of other machinery and equipment.
January 12, 2125: Three thousand more settlers were loaded on A1and
it departed the next day.
January 19, 2125: A1made Mars orbit. Five Mars shuttles immediately
began transporting settlers to the Utility Cavern. The sixth shuttle had
developed major mechanical problems and would be out of service for an
indefinite period. It turned out that the necessary part had to be sent from the
U.S. It was then discovered that the six new shuttles were loaded before the
other cargo and must be unloaded last.
February 7, 2125: Mars Runner makes Earth orbit.
February 16, 2125: Arton Three returns from Arton and makes Earth
Orbit. The part necessary to repair the Mars shuttle was immediately loaded on
the Arton Three along with all the other spare shuttle parts that the Government
had on hand. A n order was placed with the shuttle manufacturer for more
spare parts to replace the stock from the Government warehouse that had been
loaded on the Arton Three. An enormous amount of furniture, appliances and
household goods were loaded on the Arton Three as their main cargo as Mars
had complained that these items were now in critical short supply since the
arrival of all the new settlers.
February 23, 2125: Three thousand settlers were loaded onto Arton
Three which departed for Mars the next day.
February 28, 2125: Mars Runner is loaded with nothing but personal
necessities, vitamins and clothing to sustain 13,200 settlers for a long period of
time.
March 2, 2125: Arton Three makes Mars orbit. The four remaining Mars
shuttles begin transporting settlers to the planet. Another of the Mars Shuttles
had gone down for repairs and would be out of service until the new parts were
unloaded from the ship.
March 9, 2125: Mars Runner is loaded with 1,200 settlers and departs
immediately for Mars. Cargo on the Arton Four had still to be unloaded. The
ship had now been in Mars orbit since November 12, 2124 and had yet to be
unloaded.
March 15, 2125: The parts necessary to repair the two shuttle that were
in the shop had been unloaded from the Arton Three, the repairs had been
completed and the two shuttles were back in service.
March 20, 2125: Priority had been given to unloading A1because Mars
needed those six additional shuttles. By April 1, 2125 the cargo had all been
unloaded and transferred to the Utility cavern. Now the crews could commence
getting the new shuttles into commission. Unloading of cargo from the A1was
completed.
April 3, 2125: With all twelve shuttles now in service it was estimated
that it would still take over two months to unload the cargo remaining on the
three Arton ships.
April 4, 2125: The A1which had finished unloading broke Mars orbit and
headed back to Earth. Shuttles had finished the unloading of the Arton Four
and it was preparing to depart the next day.
April 5,2125: Shuttles worked non stop since the disaster to finish
unloading the Arton Four, which left immediately for Earth.

PART II
CHAPTER – The Nuclear holocaust
April 4, 2125: Nuclear war on earth! Their worst nightmare had come true
on earth. Nuclear Holocaust, The Islamic militant nations of the middle east
had hit Israel with three multi megaton nuclear devices. Israeli ships at sea had
immediately retaliated with 112 nuclear devices of their own. Between the time
that Israel was hit and the middle eastern nations were wiped off the map the
Islamics had launched almost two hundred additional nukes toward every
nation on Earth that they considered non believers. Immediately after the
introduction of nukes, North Korea had launched thirty more nukes at China,
Japan and South Korea. Japan, South Korea and China had all launched
nukes at North Korea. Pakistan had launched nukes at India and India had
launched nukes at Pakistan. All told there were over six hundred nukes
detonated on Earth within two hours. When the war ended there were eleven
billion people still alive on the Earth. They all had received, or would receive a
lethal dose of radiation within the next thirty days as the winds carried the
contamination throughout the atmosphere of the planet. All animals on Earth
were suffering the same fate.
Because of superior missal defense systems there were no missals able
to penetrate the United States. There were two suicide bombers carrying
satchel nukes inside the continental U.S. One detonated his devise in front of
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. Within five minutes of the first
missal hitting Israel. The other was detonated at the location of The United
States Missal Defense manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Arizona a few minutes
later. Two other suicide bombers were apprehended before they could
detonate their devises, one in New York City and one at U.S. Missal Defense
headquarters at Fort Collins, Colorado. There were two other suit case nukes
detonated in North America, One took out Ottawa, Canada, the other Mexico
City. Other than these satchel nukes the North American continent had been
spared a direct hit.
April 14, 2125: The seventeen people on duty at the Green Valley
nuclear power station had kept their wits about them. Because the team leader
was a qualified nuclear physicist named Tom Eddy, he had taken readings
every hour. He gathered the workers together and made an announcement,
“You all know what has happened on Earth today. We were spared a direct hit
but I don't know if spared is the right word. I know that you have all been
watching the instruments and you know that the radiation level here at the plant
is above normal. It has not reached the critical level yet but it soon will. I am
afraid that there is nothing we can do about that, it is going to happen, there is
nowhere to hide. Even in the safe room, if we all went in there and shut the
door we would eventually run out of critical supplies. This entire planet is
doomed. You have two choices. You can go home to be with your loved ones
until the end, and that is what I recommend that you do. I have no one to go
home to so I am going to remain here to safely shut this plant down. You may
wonder, if what I have just told you is true then why bother? The reason is that
in fifty to one hundred years this planet will have rejuvenated itself. All of
humanity is not doomed, just those of us on Earth. There must be more than
one hundred thousand human beings on Mars and Arton who will want to
reclaim the Earth when it is safe for them to do so. When that day comes I
would like for them to find this power station intact. If we just abandon the plant
it will go to critical mass and add to the contamination which will prolong the day
when mankind can return. I would appreciate it if one or two others of you who
have nothing better to do with the last week of your lives would remain behind
with me to help in this task. Another consideration is that we provide electrical
energy to almost half a million people who are still alive. It would make their
final days more comfortable if they continued to receive power. I plan to put on
a radiation suit as soon as this conversation ends so I will be around long
enough to provide them power until they have all succored then I intend to shut
the plant down properly.” Nine of the seventeen people either agreed to remain
at the plant or to go gather their families and return. Tom asked one of those
who were leaving to contact the local TV broadcasting station that had a
manned antenna site nearby and have them contact as many of the other
nuclear power plants as they possibly could and tell them what I have just told
you. One of the women said, “I have children at home that I need to be with but
I will inform the TV station technicians of what you have just told us.” “I
recorded this conversation Janie so all you will have to do is to deliver audio
recording to them and make sure they listen to it. I will also play a copy of the
recording over our power grid radio system and hope that the word gets out.
April 14, 2125: Shortly after departure from Mars The A1heard on the
radio the jumble of messages coming through from Earth. They elected to
chance using warp one briefly within the solar system, something an Arton ship
had never done before. Mars was presently at it's furtherest point from Earth
and the A1wanted to get there as soon as possible. They kicked into Warp
drive for thirty seven minutes. Once they came out of warp they barely had
time to fire the retro rockets before making Earth orbit.
April 15, 2125: Tom Eddy had heard back from over one hundred of the
more than five hundred nuclear plants in the United States and Canada. They
had left messages for him saying that they had already decided on the same
course of action that he had proposed or had decided to when they got his
message.
April 16, 2125: Tom Eddy and his loyal crew shut down the plant safely
then removed their radiation suits and willingly drank the deadly cocktail that
they had prepared.
April 16, 2125: Humanity, on Earth ceased to exist.

CHAPTER – Mars welcomes the new arrivals


April 17, 2125: All together there were 13,452 human beings landed on
Mars, this figure Included the 1238 that they knew were on board Mars Runner
which was en route. At that moment Mars had a population of 54,354. Almost
8,000 of these people were still refugees being housed in what was referred to
as the reception center. The officers from the Arton ships said that there were
another 45,000 or so settlers already on the surface of Arton. So the total
population of the human race had been reduced to fewer than100,000.
None of the officers or passengers from the ships had ever been on
Mars. All they knew was that it was a mining colony with an observatory . The
Arton crews knew that on occasion they had gone out of their way on their
return voyages from Arton to load oar and other cargo but they had no idea
what Mars was really like. The cargo they had picked up had been packaged
and put into orbit before they got there. They just approached the orbiting
cargo, brought it on board and departed immediately for Earth. Each group of
new arrivals had at least one member of their group say, “I can't believe my
eyes” when a fleet of open air buses picked them up in the Utility cavern and
whisk them away to New Phoenix.
Keep in mind that these were people who had just lost their whole
families on Earth. Most of the adults on Mars had also lost their families on
Earth but that was then and this was now. Tim and Hal and the new director of
Government operations met with them at the State office building.
Tim introduced himself and said ”I guess we all know what happened on
Earth on April 4, so the question in everyone's mind is where do we go from
here?” The space ship officers did not have a clue. They; did not have a basis
to make a decision on, and they knew it. One of them ask Tim “Mr. Erkin, how
many more people could Mars accommodate, are you overcrowded already.”
Tim responded, “Our present population is approximately 55,000. We could
easily sustain another million people and remain self sufficient. Theoretically
the planet could eventually sustain a population of three hundred million
people, but only if all of the known caverns on the planet were fully developed.
The present size of our developed caverns gives us the approximate land mass
of 3056 square miles, our eventual land mas could be about equal to the size of
the continental United States.“ “Do you have enough food for all those people?”
another officer asked. “Certainly”, Tim responded. “ We have farms, ranches,
orchards, wineries and herds of animals to more than sustain over one hundred
thousand people now and 80% of our available land space is undeveloped.
“Then why aren't there more people on Mars,” another officer asked. “Because
you guys keep hauling them to Arton,” Tim answered. “I never dreamed,” said
the officer, “I just thought Mars colony was a few guys extracting oar on a dead
planet.”
Before we continue with this discussion I want you people to take a day
and tour of Mars, or at least some of it, you can't possibly see it all in a day.
That would be like trying to see all of Texas in a day. Most of us live here in
New Phoenix. We don't have more cities because there is no need. We all
have everything right here. Right next to New Phoenix is Utopia, it is an
enormous cavern, larger than all of our other caverns combined. So far we
have not developed Utopia but we now have everything we need to open
Utopia. We have discovered pressurized and introduced atmosphere to several
caverns larger than either of these large caverns that we occupy but they are
just sitting vacant at the moment. Tell me, how many people are living on Arton
and what are their living conditions? Tim asked” “Their highest ranking officer
responded, there are a little over 45,000 humans scattered around the planet.
The air is similar to Earths, the size of the planet is similar to Earth. The planet
could eventually house five to seven billion people. There are large animals
that you would think of as dinosaurs, in abundance, there are an estimated two
hundred thousand humanoids, that have formed into tribes and dwell in caves
much as humans did on Earth ten million years ago. Overall the land mass on
the planet is a little larger than earth. There are no continents just islands. No
matter where you are on the ocean you can see several islands. Just try and
picture it as Earth was ten million years ago.
First see our planet but then as I see it our alternatives are to transport
all of us to Arton or to transport all of the people on Arton to Mars or to have
Mars continue to provide the things you were getting from Earth for you to
transport to Arton and for mankind to inhabit both planets so that a catastrophe
like the one that destroyed the Earth Yesterday can never destroy mankind. I
suspect that the cargo that you have been transporting to Arton Included a lot of
weapons and we have no weapons on Mars, none. We could tool up and turn
out weapons but we don't have any now. Also be aware that we will loose
contact with Arton when you exhaust the energy supply in your ships. We do
not use nuclear energy on Mars, we rely exclusively on geothermal energy. We
have found uranium ore on the planet but we have never mined any because
we don't need it and we don't want it. After what happened yesterday, I don't
suppose we will ever want it. My next point is that we still have the Mars
Runner that is capable of travel to Earth. In fact it is on it's way to Mars now
loaded with cargo and settlers. It should arrive in Mars orbit around the middle
of August. I am sure than in a few years we will want to send inspection teams
to Earth to see how hot it is and to see if there are any people left alive
anywhere.
“Just from the conversation we have just had I think I already know the
plan we are all going to agree on,” said Tim. You should take the two ships that
you have already provisioned and continue on to Arton. Tell them what
happened on Earth and return to Mars with as many of them as want to return.
That way those that remain on Arton given a hundred thousand years or so may
come up with what man had on Earth at one time, hopefully it won't end the
same way. I suspect that you in this room and your crews will prefer life on
Mars, but the ones that went to Arton in the first place are the kind of people
that are seeking thrills and high adventure. A lot of them will want to remain,
and they should. Once you get back to Mars you will want to put your ships into
a parking orbit around the planet and live your lives out here. That should be
left up to each individual. Be sure when you travel to Arton that you have
enough extra crewmen to handle your ship on your return. Only you people
know how much fuel you have and how many more trips you can make but I
suggest that you make none just in case your ability to fly is needed to travel
from Mars to Earth and back on several occasions.” That evening all 14,000
guests were put up in the reception center. All were fed a hearty meal.
July 6, 2125: The newly arrived people all 14,000 of them were taken on
Guided tours of Mars. They visited the ranch and saw all the animals, they
visited the orchards and the farms and the vineyards and the city. They were
taken to Paradise and shown the campgrounds and the rivers and lakes
teeming with fish, they were shown some of the tamed but unused caverns, one
larger than New Phoenix and Utopia combined. They toured the industrial
complex and tasted the Martian wine and beer. They were shown the Ski
Lodge. They had all been very interested in the tour and most of them realized
by the end of the day that Mars was not only a better place to live than Arton,
Mars was a better place to live than Earth had been a month ago, before they
blew themselves up. After the tours were completed they were returned to the
reception center.
July7, 2125: The ship's officers met with Tim around 0900. They
concurred with his plan of action. An announcement was issued that anyone on
Mars who wanted to spend their lives on Arton should assemble at the Utility
Cavern the next morning at 0600 to board one of the space cruisers. That went
for the crews of the space ships as well. All other crew members were asked to
stand by in the tunnel leading to the Utility Cavern so that if there were any
crewmen that wanted to remain on Arton there would still be sufficient crew to
return the ships to Mars.
July 8, 2125: 0600, there exactly twelve people standing in the Utility
Cavern waiting to board a ship to Arton. All of the crew members from all four
ships were in the tunnel. It seems that they all wanted to live their lives out on
Mars, not Arton. All four vessels left port that morning. Two headed for Arton
with the last load of supplies that would be delivered to the planet for some
time to come. The other two headed for Earth and the Moon to rescue
survivors.
July 9, 2125: The Mars Unified Counsel of Elected Representatives met
to discuss the future of Mars. Particular attention was given to the problem of
how to keep the economy of Mars from collapsing, resulting in chaos. After
listening to some fifty speakers and hundreds of ideas the following consensus
emerged and voted into law. The first Colonial bank had agreed to honor all
existing accounts and to continue to credit those accounts with all regular
deposits, such as wages. The bank would evaluate all stock and bond
portfolios that the Citizens of Mars had on April 2, 2125 in Earth held securities
and credit the accounts of those people with the appropriate amounts of cash,
just as though they had they had sold their securities on that day. The price of
gold on Earth on April 2, had been $2,242.00 per ounce. The Gold in the vaults
of the bank amounted to 2,186 metric tons. That gold was the property of Mars
Colony, Inc. and would remain the property of Mars, Inc. Everyone had always
known that diamonds and other precious stones had kept turning up in small
quantities but no one had ever admitted it. It was just a kind of a bonus when
someone found a stone. Most of those stones were now in Paul Silverman,
safe at the jewelery store, but Paul had bought and paid for them so they were
his and would remain so. Paul had readily agreed that all future diamond finds
should be the property of Mars, Inc. and should be turned in to the company.
Diamonds of course now had little value except that Mars was being put on a
Gold and Diamond based economy. The value of Diamonds had arbitrarily
been set at $3,000.00 per carrot which the bank agreed to credit to The
Company account. Mars Unified Counsel of Elected Representatives
authorized the bank to mint and put into circulation iron and nickel coins in the
amounts of one, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred, and one thousand dollar
denominations. These would bear the inscription, pay to bearer on demand the
value of this coin in gold. Everyone knew that in actuality, the gold and
diamonds had no intrinsic value but just their universal acceptance bestowed on
them their value. That public faith was enough to keep the economy running.
It was agreed that The Company structure would not change, The
Company would henceforth be known as Mars, Inc. Corporation papers were
filed at the recording office of the Federal building noting this change and
establishing a board of Directors listing Tim Erkin as Chairman and a dozen
other company officers as members of the board of directors. They all,
Including Tim agreed to a fifty percent pay cut. In fact every employee of The
Company was notified of a fifty percent pay cut. All employment contracts that
employees had with The Company were canceled. No one would be laid off,
The Company had many jobs to be done in their various enterprises. Including
the ranch, the farms, the orchards and the manufacturing plants. The Company
also was the owner of record of all the real property on Mars. Tim addressed
the Counsel announced that The Company would form a real estate branch to
sell off a lot of the property that The Company would identify and list for sale in
coming months. Tim said that monopolies were, in his opinion not good for any
economy and he wanted to see many of the companies employees strike out on
their own and start private corporations and open small business establishment
of all sorts.
As more jobs were created and more business and manufacturing
started the number of people in the reception center began to dwindle. More
homes were being constructed, schools built. Since Arizona had been opened
tunneling crews had opened a dozen more smaller caverns that had been
sealed and pressurized but were lying unused. One after another people began
finding uses for them. Some for raising livestock, some for agriculture, some for
industry. They still had their ace in the hole, Utopia, if more land was ever
needed.
Ten years from now I would hope that Mars Inc. could be just another
successful corporation on Mars and not necessarily even the largest
corporation. Tim was a whole hearted believer in the free enterprise system
and in a democratic form of government. Over the next two years there were
fifty two small business opened on Mars. There were twenty six new
corporations started. There was even an over the counter stock exchange
being operated by Paul and his two employees. Since the disappearance of the
Earth, Paul's Jewelery had little demand. Paul transitioned easily into running
and controlling the Mars stock exchange. Prices were published daily on
MARS-TV and on Mars.com. At first there were some wild fluctuations but
eventually they leveled out and were the backbone of the young economy. After
five years Mars Inc. was down to 1,800 employees but still owned and
operated much of Mars. Tim had sold the lower half of the Hour Glass to the
lessors, Austin, Byron and Glen, who now employed over two hundred people
and were Incorporated. The bank was Incorporated on Mars and now had three
branches and over one hundred employees. The Counsel had formed all sorts
of new bureaucracies and employed over two hundred fifty civil servants. One
thing that the counsel had done that nobody cared much for was that they had
imposed a flat rate ten percent Income tax, a one percent property tax and a
five percent sales tax. Like I said no one liked it much but they all knew that it
had to be done. The Government had obligations to meet like everyone else
and the money had to come from somewhere. On Mars as it had been on
Earth the money would have to come from taxes, permits, licenses fees and
fines.
If anything the disappearance of the Earth had strengthened the
economy of Mars and had broken the stranglehold that Mars Colony, Inc had on
the planet. The Federal Government of the United States had been abolished
and the employees terminated. In short order a new corporation of scientists
had formed and Incorporated. They had more work than they could handle. All
tunneling had been temporarily stopped until such time as population reassure
created a demand for more land, which wouldn't be for many years. Some of
the new companies were buying real estate from Mars Inc. that was located in
undeveloped caverns. Many of the newly developed caverns were unique and
they all had their own personalities. Tim had already decided to develop the
largest of them to a long term timber project and had crews leveling the bottom
of the cavern and readying the soil. Grow lights had already been installed that
would be adequate to grow trees. Tim had also planned to plant wheat on the
land and raise goats . There was plenty of water and they had already installed
a new large generator and two atmosphere machines before the Earth had
collapsed. Tim's plans had not changed with the loss of the earth. Seedlings
had been planted and the young trees had thrived. By March of 2125 The trees
were already the size of Christmas trees and goats were roaming the range.
This was a 54 square mile monster cavern. Eventually, Tim supposed this land
would have a higher and better purpose but for now it would make a great goats
ranch and forest. Especially since the loss of Earth Mars would have to meet
their own demand for timber.

CHAPTER – The rescue mission to Earth


April 5, 2125: The A1immediately established radio communications with
the Earth orbiter and the moon base. Various other manned satellites had been
checking in with the Earth Orbiter and were told to send everyone there. The
orbiter had no Shuttle on station when the bombs started going off so they could
not pick up the survivors and have them all waiting in one place. One by one
shuttle started showing up at the orbiter. Of the forty seven shuttle on Earth all
but nine had managed to grab the nearest sixty people and head out to space.
One by one the shuttles were able to discharge their passengers at the orbiter.
The first shuttle to arrive at the orbiter went to gather the people working at the
other satellites. By the time the A1contacted the orbiter there were 2,454
survivors waiting for rescue. The A1loaded the passengers from the orbiter and
20 shuttles that they had room for in their cargo hold. They were preparing to
enter moon orbit when they were contacted by radio, It was the Arton Four that
had just made Earth orbit.
“What is the situation here?” “Better put Captain Sorenson on, please
get him and as many of the ships officers as are available, I only want to go
through this once.” “Captain Sorenson, this is Captain Davis, I have here with
me Captain Allen from the Earth Orbiter I think Captain Allen should begin.”
Captain Allen talked for better than an hour describing everything that had
happened in the last thirty six hours, then he turned the mike back to Captain
Davis. “Here is where we stand now, we have taken 2,454 survivors on board
from the shuttles that escaped Earth when the shooting started, from all of the
satellite stations and from the Earth Orbiter. We are now going to set an orbit
around the Moon and launch enough shuttles to bring their one thousand one
hundred sixty people on board. Once they are safe we will return to Mars. Our
cargo hold is full with twenty shuttles. There are twenty more moored to the
Earth Orbiter. I suggest that you continue to search Earth for survivors that
have not been contaminated yet. I don't know how long you should do that but
you will know when your job is done. You have a heartbreaking task because
there are still at least five billion people alive on Earth that have received a
lethal dose of radiation and there is nothing you can do for them. If you try to
rescue them some of your people could become contaminated and the ones
you were trying to rescue would be dead in a few days at the most. I suggest
that for the first week to ten days that you not respond to calls for help. After
that any calls you get could very well be from people that are in sealed
environment s that have not been contaminated. In the meantime you could
gather what radiation suits you have and load them onto one of your shuttles. I
am sending you the radiation suits that we have by shuttle, that should give you
forty suits that could be lowered or dropped to any survivors that have not been
exposed. If they are in a sealed environment I don't know how they would be
able to reach the suits but maybe they will be able to work it out. Even a ten
second exposure would probably be fatal so they might have to even sacrifice
one of their own to get the suits. I just don't know. Once your job is done then
pick up the remaining twenty shuttles at the Earth Orbiter before returning to
Mars.” I don't see how we could improve on that plan, we will do what ever we
can and just play it by ear. See you back on Mars, Arton Four out.”

The Moon Base was another story, They had their own Shuttle but
preferred to wait it out on the Moon because they were fully stocked with
supplies and could hold out longer there than they could at the orbiter. There
was also the logistical problem of transporting 1160 people in one shuttle. The
A1received a radio message from Moon Base. “This is Admiral Johnson at
Moon Base, what is your status?” “We are presently in Earth Orbit with 2,454
survivors on board from the Earth Orbiter. We are preparing to move to Moon
Orbit to pick up the people on Moon Base. We should be there in about four
hours.” “That is negative Arton One” We have just been hearing traffic from
Barrow, Alaska. Contamination has not yet crossed the Arctic Circle. We know
that everything south of there is contaminated. There are approximately
eighteen thousand people North of the Arctic Circle who have not been
contaminated. We are fine here on Moon Base. Suggest you return your 2454
survivors to Earth Orbiter with enough supplies to hold them over until you see
how many you can find in the Arctic Circle. We can accommodate five
thousand people total on Moon Base. Where is Arton Two, Arton Three and
Arton Four?” “Arton Four is presently in Earth Orbit, A1and Arton Two are in
Mars orbit unloading Cargo.” “We will contact Mars and have them dispatch A
and Arton Two immediately to Earth whether they have been unloaded or not.”
“Ten Four that, we will get Arton Four on the Horn and dispatch them to Barrow
immediately. “This is Captain Barstow of The Earth Orbiter, Admiral. If The
A1sets off the 2,454 refugees from on board back on Earth Orbiter we could
sustain for approximately ten days without additional supplies.” “This is Captain
Davis again Admiral. We broke a cardinal rule when we just made the trip from
Mars to Earth. We used warp speed and got here from Mars within two hours.
It can be done and now we know just how to do it, maybe not with utmost safety
but using warp we could pick up five thousand of those eighteen thousand
people in the Arctic, move half of them to Moon Base. Then reload the people
from Earth Orbiter and take five thousand people to Mars then return and get
the three thousand six hundred that you will have on Moon Base.
Captain Davis sent an officer to the com room immediately to notify the
Arton Four to try the north polar region with shuttle as soon as possible. The
Arton Four responded that they had already retrieved the shuttles from the
Earth Orbiter because they did not have any on board. They would move to a
North Polar orbit and launch shuttles within the next two hours. He then put an
urgent message in to Mars. “There are apparently eighteen thousand people
within the Arctic Circle that have not been contaminated. We need the Arton
Two and Arton Three here immediately to take on Refugees.” “Moon Base
contacted us a over an hour Arton Two and Arton Three are already en route to
the Arctic Circle using Warp speed. They could arrive any time.”
April 6, 2125: “ The A1returned the 2,454 people on board, to the Earth
Orbiter Including Captain Barstow. A1then topped off their supplies and headed
for Barrow, Alaska.
The Arton Four launched all 20 shuttles to search all enclaves of
mankind north of 50 degrees North latitude. Captain Sorenson told the pilots.
“If you see anyone on the ground that needs help then fly south until you find
the first clear area, land and take a reading, if the atmosphere is clean still then
go back and pick them up, otherwise just leave them be. I know that sounds
cold but if they are already walking dead men we can't help them.” “Shuttle one
to Arton Four I am taking a reading at 49 degrees North Latitude, the air is, I
repeat, is contaminated.” “Shuttle two to Arton Four, I am taking a reading
atfifty fivedegrees North Latitude, the air is, I repeat, is contaminated.” “Shuttle
three to Arton Four, I am taking a reading at 62 degrees North Latitude, the
air is, I repeat, is contaminated.” “Well that lets out Anchorage and Fairbanks”
Captain Sorenson said to no one in particular. “Shuttle four to Arton Four I am
taking a reading from 66 degrees North Latitude, just inside the Arctic Circle,
the air is not, I repeat, is not contaminated.” “Shuttle five to Arton Four, I am
taking a reading from Barrow, Alaska, 340 miles North of the Arctic Circle, the
air is clean, I repeat, the air is clean. I see people on the ground, there must be
three thousand of them, send more shuttles.” “Captain Sorenson sent all
nineteen remaining shuttles to Barrow and they began to evacuate refugees.
Within four hours they had received five thousand people on board the Arton
Four. The Arton One, Arton Two and Arton Three all responded. The Arton Two
and Arton Three still had cargo on board but they could take on refugees. The
Captains threw the safety book out the window and accelerated to Warp speed.
The A1made Earth Polar orbit in just under three hours. The Arton Two and
Arton Three weren't far behind. The A1immediately launched their 15 shuttles.
Within six hours they had completed the evacuation of Barrow and some thirty
seven Alaska villages. The radio room of the Arton Two picked up an SOS on
a Navy frequency. Between the four ships they had rescued eighteen thousand
people from the Arctic. They were all safely on board the ships within eight
hours of when the rescue of Barrow had began and the air still tested clean.
There were traces of radiation showing up but the atmosphere was still in the
safe zone.
“SOS This is USS Patrick Hudson, does anybody copy. SOS” “Patrick
Hudson this is USSS Arton Two, we are in Arctic orbit around Earth. What is
your location?” “We are just below the ice cap near the North Pole, at 69
degrees North Latitude, the air is not, I repeat, not contaminated.” over.”
“Patrick Hudson, please proceed south until you find ice thin enough to break
through. Then surface but keep the vessel sealed. We will spot you and pick
you up once you have surfaced. How many of you are there?” “There are 92 in
our crew, we were under the pole on maneuvers when things went bad.” “Arton
Four launched the three Shuttle which headed for the North Pole and made
radio contact. We have three Shuttle looking now they will be near your
location an prox one hour. They should be able to spot you but they are on this
radio connection now. Shuttle one to Patrick Hudson do you know the
approximate coordinates where you will be able to surface?” “The skipper of the
sub gave them a coordinates then said we will surface in prox one hour, just
about the time you arrive.” “This is Shuttle One, we will get readings before you
surface.” “This is Patrick Hudson, we are in place to surface, our exact
coordinates is, and he gave the coordinates.” “Copy that, Patrick Hudson, our
three Shuttle are approaching now, We are only getting a trace of radiation, You
couldn't live in it for years but it wont hurt you to be exposed for a few minutes.”
“Surface, surface surface.” Then the pilots saw the Ice mound and saw the
Patrick Hudson. They maneuvered their so as to pull up within 50 feet of the
sub. “Get your people out now and make a run for our shuttle. Send your
people in three groups and have each group go to a different Shuttle .” “Roger
that” The main hatch popped open and the 92 crew members made a beeline
for the Shuttle's. Once inside the ships were sealed and took off. Little over an
hour later they were docked beside the Arton Four and Air locks were secured.
“The crew of the sub were the happiest people the crew of the Arton Four had
ever seen. During debriefing they said they had picked up scattered radio traffic
after the destruction but one by one over the next several days the radio chatter
had stopped as the people had died of radiation poisoning. “The only people on
the planet who could have survived would be people that were in sealed
chambers such as we were in the Patrick Hudson. “There may be other
submarine crews but I doubt it. Once they surfaced anywhere on Earth
anywhere other than where we surfaced they were exposed to a lethal dose of
radiation, and were goners in a few days. We know that from the radio contacts
that we had. Also most of the ocean is also polluted with radiation. It was
working it's way North but hadn't reached us yet. If you hadn't come along
when you did we would have been dead in two weeks, or less. Even the people
in the Ant Arctic would have a lethal dose by now.” “My question is what do we
do now?” “We are returning to Mars, I think our work here is done.” Two hours
later the Arton Four pulled out of orbit and headed for Mars.”
“Boy are we ever glad to see you guys, but now that you have rescued
us where can you take us, Arton?” “Hardly, We, and you, I am afraid are going
to have to live out our lives in those miserable caves on Mars.” With that
remark said the questions began to fly at Captain Sorenson from all the leaders
from Barrow, the villages and the Patrick Hudson that had met in the dining
room for the briefing that Captain Sorenson had requested. “Does the colony
on Mars have room for us?” “Will they share their food with us?” “What will
happen when they run out of food and there are no more supply ships coming
from earth?” “I would hate the thought of living out my life in a cramped little
cave!” “Well I am afraid that is just going to have to be your fate” The answers
to your other questions are “yes they will share their food with us, yes, they
have enough room for us. The two Mars Supply ships were retired five years
ago but Mars Runner still makes regular runs to Mars, they haul more people to
Mars and Mars exports back to Earth. They also have been hauling luxury
items to Mars on their way up. Things Martians have ordered off the internet
and paid for. You will just have to wait and see your new home when you arrive
on Mars.”
It was agreed that the four ships should engage Warp Speed only briefly
on the return to Mars, in the interest of Safety. The Arton One used warp longer
than the other ships because they had to drop their people off on Mars and then
return for the people stranded on the Earth Orbiter and Moon Base.
April 8, 2125: “A1to Mars comm we are entering Mars orbit with five
thousand refugees. We need to transport these people as quickly as possible
because there are another three thousand six hundred people stranded on the
Earth Orbiter and Moon Base.” By the time that The A1settled into Mars orbit
there were seventeen shuttles waiting to off load refugees. Eight hours later
The A1was headed back to Earth once again they used Warp Speed briefly.
April 9, 2125: The A1made Earth orbit and took on the refugees from the
Earth Orbiter. They then established Moon orbit, dispatched their 15 shuttle
and took on the refugees from Moon Base. A team of six people remained
behind to maintain Moon Base knowing full well that it might be a long time
before another ship from Mars would return.
April 15, 2125: The A1made Mars orbit. Mars sent up shuttles to offload
refugees. By the end of that day the population of Mars stood at just over
80,000 people, almost 22,000 of them were housed in the reception center.
The people of Mars that had room in their homes were urged to take refugees
from the reception center into their homes. The reception center just could not
accommodate 22,000 people.
July 24, 2125: Mars Comm sent and received messages frequently to
and from Moon Base, if for no other reason to keep the skeleton crew on Moon
Base from feeling detached from humanity. The Inuit Eskimo people from the
Arctic blended in well with the population of Mars. Almost all of them spoke
English, the few that didn't were mostly elderly and became home makers for
their families, which was pretty much the role that they had played in their Arctic
villages. Despite the authorities desire that everyone speak only English they
were occasionally irritated by occasionally hearing people conversing in the
Inuit language.
It amazed everyone how quickly the vibrant young economy of Mars
absorbed the newcomers. Within less than a year there was full employment
on Mars. Tim had once again decided not to develop Utopia. The equipment
that Mars had recently received for that purpose was put to other uses in the
development of more of the small caverns that had been discovered.

CHAPTER – Mars Runner returns to Mars


August one 2125: Mars Runner docks at Mars orbiter 1,238 passengers
and crew were transferred to the planet by the Mars shuttles where they were
provided temporary accommodations in the reception center.
The seventeen operating shuttles then made short work of transporting
the cargo to the planet. Three people remained on board to maintain the ship
and the orbiter. They would be rotated once a month. There still remained the
15 shuttles on The A1and 20 shuttles on the Arton Four, that no one knew what
to do with. It was finally decided to leave five shuttles on each ship and
dismantle the remaining 15 shuttles for spare parts.
September 14, 2125: The reception center was closed down. Everyone
had found gainful employment and made other housing arrangements.

CHAPTER – Immigrants from Arton


May 12, 2126: Arton Four enters Mars orbit with 1,261 passengers and
crew who were transferred to the planet. Five crew members remained on
board to maintain the ship.
June 14, 2126: Arton Three enters Mars orbit with 1,284 passengers and
crew who were transferred to the planet. Again Five crew members remained
on board to maintain the ship.
June 14, 2126: The total population of the Human race was estimated to
be 136,000 people. With roughly 54,000 of them living on Arton and 82,000
thousand on Mars. It had been resolved to send one of the Arton ships back to
Arton, because they had powerful radios on board that could communicate with
each other even at a distance of four and a half light years. Once a month
Arton Four would send the news from Mars to Arton and once a month the
Arton three would send news from Arton to Mars. Arton Four would remain in
a parking orbit around Arton and become in fact a orbiter. They would have
seven Shuttle They would be manned by volunteers from Mars who would be
selected from the general population and agree to live their lives out on Arton.
The word went out and barely enough volunteers consented to go. Over the
next two months these people were trained to do the jobs that the crew of an
Arton ship had performed. The ship was not loaded with any cargo because
Arton was already a self sufficient planet. They would have their work cut out
for them in learning to produce for themselves all the things that had formerly
been shipped to them from Earth but there was no doubt that they would
survive and prosper over the coming centuries.

CHAPTER – Earth Recovers


August 21, 2126: Arton Three departed for Arton, not to return to Mars for
many years. The four remaining ships in orbit around Mars would remain there
until Earth was once again habitable, except that one of them would be
dispatched to Earth every ten years to gather data. This always coincided with
Mars closest position to Earths orbit.
March 7, 2136: It had been ten years since the destruction on Earth .
Mars had prospered and the population had grown to over 125,000 soles. It
was time to dispatch Mars Runner to determine the status of Earth. Mars
Runner departed amongst much fan fare with only the crew and a couple dozen
scientists aboard and a cargo of food and other supplies for Moon Base. Mars
Runner carried four Shuttle in their hold.
July 19, 2136: Mars Runner carried seven volunteers who agreed to
remain on Moon Base for the next ten years, it just seemed like such a shame
to abandon one of mankind's greatest achievements. Upon their arrival Captain
Lomax accompanied the volunteers to Moon Base for a look around the facility.
Mars Runner had brought along enough supplies to keep the crew in food,
water, atmosphere and other necessities of life for another ten years. The
seven people who had been on Moon Base for the last ten years were ready to
leave. These people had been in radio communication with Mars for their entire
stay and had nothing new to report. Actually over the last ten years they had
nothing new to report. They still constantly monitored all radio frequencies but
had heard nothing worth investigating for the last nine years and eleven
months.
July 22, 2136: Mars Runner secured orbit around Earth and even docked
at the long deserted Earth Orbiter. The place seemed no worse for the ware
and the crew soon had it back in full operation. The four Shuttle were unloaded
and had also docked at the Earth Orbiter.
July 24, 2136: The Shuttle flew their first sorties close to earth. Mars
Runner had been monitoring all radio frequencies since their arrival and had
found nothing. The Shuttle had flown low over the United States looking for
signs of habitation but had seen nothing encouraging. One of them had landed
at what used to be, Edwards Air force base in the California, Mojave Desert.
They got out of their craft cloaked in radiation suits and took several readings of
the soil and the atmosphere. There was good news, the air was breathable and
though there was still a lot of radiation it was below the lethal level. Anyone
living in this environment could live but would be very susceptible to developing
cancer and other diseases. I would not recommend long exposure to this part
of the planet. They got the same result from checking out various other parts of
the planet and the only life form they encountered were some red ants in what
used to be Kenya. On a hunch they tried the top of Mt. McKinley in Alaska. It
was clean down to the 6,000 foot level. No radiation reading at all.
There were plants and trees still growing in abundance. They had seen
what might have been a flock of birds from a distance but when they got closer
they found only leaves blowing around. They then checked the Ocean at
several locations, There was still some sea life but not much The deeper they
took readings the more sea life they found. Before leaving Earth they visited a
number of locations on Earth to take additional readings. In Juneau, Alaska,
they came across a huge quantity of cut lumber that tested clean because it
had been wrapped in plastic when the catastrophe had occurred. They filled
the hold of their ship with the lumber. Their trip would not be a total wasted
effort. There was always need for wood on Mars.
November 23, 2136: The ship made Mars Orbit with a mixed message.
The good news was that Earth was not a dead planet, trees some plants, red
ants and some deep see life were adapting. They had found at least one place
on Earth that was now completely free of radiation, the top of Mt. McKinley
above 6,000 feet and they suspected that all locations above 6,000 feet in
elevation were also free of radiation. Those places were still not habitable
because winds kept blowing in contaminated air. The atmosphere was no
longer instantly lethal. The bad news was that they had found no people at all
or any signs of people since the catastrophe.
July 24, 2146: This time A1made the trip to Earth. They rotated the
crews at Moon Base and resupplied the facility. Things were looking up. The
atmosphere was breathable in most locations although there were still some hot
spots. At elevations above three thousand feet they found no contamination of
soil or rocks. They still found no signs of human life. They observed several
varieties of insects, life in the Oceans could be found in water as shallow as one
hundred feet. In the Amazon basin they cut some choice hardwood and just
loaded the logs onto the ship. Wood was still the most precious commodity on
Mars even though they had been harvesting some softwoods grown on Mars for
several years. Most of the Mars harvest had been chipped up and used to
manufacture press board. The A1carried no surplus food on this trip. Their
conclusion was that Earth was beginning to recover.
July 24, 2156: The Arton Two made the trip to Earth, In most respects the
planet was as it had been before the catastrophe. They really had to look to
find any signs of the nuclear Holocaust other than abandoned buildings and
visible signs of destruction. The air was good to breathe and the only hot spots
that they found were at ground zero where the bombs had detonated. There
was still trace contamination in the atmosphere but not near so much as there
had been ten years earlier.
November 23, 2166: Tim was 74 years old when Arton Two returned
from Earth with more hardwood. Carla had passed on the year before, their
four children were in mid life and there grandchildren were either in college or
out on their own. Tim had retired from company service in 2158 and now just
puttered around the house. Tim had spent the bulk of his personal wealth in
assisting the refugees from Earth when they were brought to Mars 40 years
earlier.
Tim's oldest grandson, Josh had been on the crew of the Arton Two
when it traveled to earth. He visited his grandfather and told him that Earth had
passed it's physical. It was once again a safe habitat for humanity. Tim just
grunted and went on tending his flower bed. “That means that man can return
to Earth, grandpa. “ “Perhaps you should introduce a resolution before the
Council Josh, propose the colonization of Earth and see if you can find any
volunteers. There are always young people looking for adventure in far away
lands, that would be willing to sign up. If that happened it would give mankind
the advantage of being present on at least three planets and we as a species
would still survive if something happened to any two of them. Arton now has
near one million population and Mars has over half a million. I suppose we
could find a hundred thousand or so that would be willing to establish an Earth
colony.

CHAPTER – Reclaiming Earth


April 24, 2167: Mars Runner, loaded to the gills with cargo and
passengers, leave Mars Orbit, destination Earth.
July 25, 2167: The A1is loaded with cargo and passengers from Mars
and departs for Earth. Five days later The Arton Four departs.
August 1,2167: The Arton Two is loaded and departs Mars for Earth.
The A1Makes Moon orbit. They rotated the staff at Moon Base and replenish
their supplies.
August 5, 2167 : A1and Arton Two make Earth orbit and begin to offload
passengers.
August 7, 2167: Mars Runner and the Arton Four make Earth orbit and
begin offloading passengers.
It took them nearly a month for the seven Shuttle that they had brought
along to offload their cargo of 10,222 humans, six thousand assorted farm
animals, one million fresh water fish, 500,000 salt water fish and five million
Earth worms to their chosen location. The new colony would be located at a
place formerly known as Mission Bay, San Diego, California. The 1822 human
beings all worked for the company, Earth Colony, Inc. The Company manager
on Earth was Josh Erkin.
Somehow San Diego had been spared a direct hit during the brief war
that had ended life on earth. In the intervening 42 years the corpses of all living
beings that were on Earth had just disintegrated. At the very worst there were
harmless piles of dust that had to be swept up and disposed of. Various metal
objects that people had on their person were sometimes found in the little piles
of dust.
The ocean water was once again clear of any contamination. One of the
first orders of business was to close off a lagoon at Mission Bay and release the
salt water fish that they had brought from Mars. There were several pristine
little lakes and reservoirs to receive the fresh water fish. A crew of seven
people was formed to make fish food and care for the fish.
As it turned out life on Earth had not been completely destroyed. Many
of the lower life forms in the ocean had adapted or survived in their original
form. Bacteria, algae, single celled creatures of the ocean had not only
survived but had prospered. These creatures were at the bottom end of the
food chain. With all the sea creatures that had fed on them gone they had
multiplied with gusto. The colony found that they did not have to feed the salt
water fish. The colony had their choice of any number of Yachts and
commercial vessels that had not fared too badly and could be restored.
September 10, 2167 : The nuclear facility at Green Valley that Tom Eddy
had left for them was found intact. Technicians from the ships who had been
taught to tend the nuclear power plants in the ships were brought in to see if
they could get the plant into operation. Tom had even left instructions as to how
to reactivate the facility in anticipation of this day.
An Ariel reconnaissance of other nuclear power plants in the Western
United States had revealed that more than one hundred of them had been shut
down properly. a supply of Nuclear fuel that had been waiting for instillation and
had not gone to critical mass. The protective containers were still intact and the
fuel rods they contained were still in their new condition. Electric Helicopters
were plentiful but none of them had usable batteries. New batteries from Mars
were installed in a few of them. The new batteries did not fit but once the
holders had been modified the batteries worked. Some old museum relics of
air planes, helicopters, heavy equipment and automobiles that ran on gasoline
were found. A refinery in Southern Nevada was found intact which still had a
huge amount of crude oil in tanks. Operation Manuals were also found there
and intact. A crew of fifty had the refinery in production within a month and
were producing gasoline and diesel fuel. The old choppers, aircraft and heavy
equipment from the museum were brought back to operating condition and
used to fill the gap until batteries could be manufactured on Earth once more.
Near the Southern Nevada refinery stood Hoover Dam, still intact. Lake
Mead was full and overflowing over the top of the dam. They sent a crew down
that figured out how to open the spillways and drain off a lot of the water from
the lake into the Colorado River. The river flowed all the way to Yuma, Arizona
and then spilled off into Northern Mexico. In the process they had succeeded in
restoring the water supply to The farms in the Imperial Valley. That gave them
all the room and water they needed for growing crops. Crews harvested some
of the fresh water fish that they had seeded around San Diego and restocked
Lake Mead. Someday they would send in crews to get the hydro-electric
generators functioning once again.
They established giant compost piles which they were able to fertilize
and bring the top soil back to life. Most of the plants on Earth had survived so
there was plenty of mulch. The bacteria had never completely died out. The
colony never lasted long as a colony, they were spreading out all over the west
wherever they found the facilities that they needed intact. One thing that was
still in critical short supply was The Lithium Ion Gel batteries that powered the
machines of twenty second century man. Once a factory had been found that
could be put back into operation, on a limited basis they were able to abandon
the refinery and return the gasoline and diesel powered relics to the museum.
Once the Nuclear power plant was on line the technicians from the ships
started seeking out a production facility that produced the Nuclear rods from
Uranium that would be needed, not only to replace those in the power plant
when they had become spent but more importantly to replace the nearly spent
nuclear rods in the space craft. The facility they sought was soon located and
nuclear fuel was being manufactured.
November 18, 2174: Once the ships had received new fuel the three
Arton Ships departed from Earth orbit within a week of one another. It was
decided that the Arton Four would stop briefly on Mars for supplies then
proceed on to Arton. The Arton Four carried enough Nuclear fuel in safe
containers to get the Arton Three refueled and back into service. They knew
that the Arton Three was low on power when it left for Arton the last time.
Everyone knew that it would never be able to return once it was there. Oh
perhaps if a nuclear fuel source was eventually developed on Arton new fuel
could be manufactured but that wouldn't be a realistic hope for many years.
The other two ships were to be put into service moving people from Mars to
Earth.
The Earth was firmly established and well on its way to recovery.
Because of the Nuclear complications the space ships had remained in Earth
Orbit for almost two years. The Earth orbiter was back in operation. Mars
Runner was permanently docked at the Orbiter because the Arton ships didn't
require the services of an Orbiter. They could just open their cargo holds and
take the Shuttle right on board.
Over the next two years The A1and Two moved over four hundred
thousand people from Mars to Earth leaving Mars with only a skeleton
population but Mars remained self sustaining. Mars was just, once again to
restructure their economy. They would always maintain a colony on Mars
Most of the people who had recently arrived on Earth were not returning
to Earth because they had been born and raised on Mars. Earth was a whole
new experience for them. The classes that Tim and Carla had taken when they
were migrating to Mars were given in reverse, teaching Martians what they
needed to know to survive on Earth.
These people found the gravity on Earth oppressive. It took many of
them up to a year to get accustomed to moving around in such heavy gravity.
Some adjusted quickly to Earth gravity, there was just no to tell who would and
who would not.
Along with the passengers most of the Zoo population from Mars was
also returned to Earth and housed in the San Diego Zoo, the largest Zoo on
Earth. The Zoo keepers were transported with the Animals and immediately
commenced an accelerated breeding program in San Diego. They even
brought some bees but not the ants and flies. Unfortunately the flies showed up
on Earth anyway and the ants had never become extInct on Earth. The flies
seemed to like the San Diego Zoo.
Some of the animals that had never been domesticated were soon being
released back into the wild where, not encountering any natural predictors
rapidly proliferated. There were even eight American Bison which were
released in South Dakota. Several of the Eskimo's wanted to visit the Arctic but
once seeing the place wondered how their ancestors could have lived in such a
place. They enjoyed seeing their native homeland but soon wanted to return to
San Diego. Domestic Animals also rapidly proliferated and soon the people of
Earth had all the products that they needed that could be produced from
domestic farm animals.
One of the mathematicians calculated that it would take the Earthfifty
thousand years to fully recover and even then it would be a vastly different
Earth. There would be only one race and one language. Most species that had
shared the Earth with man were now extInct. The only animals that would ever
populate the Earth again would be only those that were no threat to man.
Five years after man's return to Earth an expedition sent to explore
Southeast Alaska made a remarkable find, it was one of those things that could
never be explained. Salmon were spawning in several of the rivers, not many
of them, and comparison of these Salmon with what existed before revealed
that there were subtle difference s but they were Salmon, none the less. This
discovery spanned a more thorough investigation of sea shores and off shore
waters world wide. There was one startling discovery after another. The
conclusion they finally came to was that the Oceans of the Earth were
recovering everywhere they looked. Not all species had survived but most of
them had. Where conditions had traditionally been ideal for shrimp they found
shrimp. Where conditions were ideal for Lobster they found lobster. Coral reefs
that had completely died after the Holocaust were growing. Sea weed was
abundant. The Oceans of the planet would eventually return to normal.
Without pollutants being dumped into the oceans by man the Oceans would
eventually return to the state they were in when Columbus Discovered America.
For several years after these discoveries they continued to harvest the fish that
they had pinned up in Mission Bay but eventually the harbor was reopened and
the remaining fish could come and go as they pleased. Fishing boats once
again trolled the offshore waters harvesting sea food. Salmon hatcheries were
established in a number of Northwest locations.
On land they were also discovering species that had survived. None of
the large animals had made it but they had found bats and some insects.
Unfortunately mosquitoes were among the survivors.
Back on Mars there were fewer than fifty thousand people remaining,
most of them elderly. Enough young people remained to sustain viability of the
planet.

CHAPTER – The Two Ships Arrive on Arton


May 1, 2175: A little less that six months after departing Earth Orbit the
Arton One and Two Space craft made Arton Orbit. The Arton Four had
successfully refueled the Arton Three.
The crews of the Arton ships were very pleased to find out that not only
had Arton survived for the last fifty years but the respect for the Arton Three that
the people on the planet showed. They had accepted that the Arton Three did
not have enough fuel to ever return to Mars or Earth. They still held hope that
someday they would have the capacity to manufacture the fuel on the planet to
refuel the ship. The crew that had flown the Arton Three had long since retired
and most of them were now dead. They had the wisdom to train replacements
from the youth of Arton. That crew in turn had trained their replacements. The
Arton Three was still fully staffed and capable of space travel even though one
whole generation of crew members had never got out of planetary orbit. The
other Arton ships had also replaced their crew members in the same way but
the young crews on the other three ships had made several space voyages and
considered themselves seasoned veterans. The fleet commander shuffled the
crews of the four ships so that an equal number of seasoned veterans would be
on each ship. Since refueling of the Arton Three had been accomplished, all
four ships were declared sea worthy. The ships reduced to skeleton crews and
took turns visiting touring and learning about Arton for the next four months.

CHAPTER – Settler's View of Artonians


A copy of the following document was distributed to all crew members
before they went to the planet surface of Arton.
“UPDATED INFORMATION ON ARTON”
May 2, 2175
By Rosy Kurtis, Settler
The last that Mars had heard was that the colonists on Arton had
encountered an indigenous population of humans that were similar to
Neanderthals who lived on Earth from 300,000 years ago to about 30,000 years
ago. It was since learned that the Artonian development was much further
advanced than first thought. The culture was at first evaluated by identifying
markers common to early man. The civilization on Arton had not developed
agriculture, did not hunt animals collectively, lived in caves, had the slightly bent
forward stance of Neanderthals, with knuckles that almost reached the ground.
They did not use fire. Thus they were classified as early to middle Paleolithic
man.
Subsequent contact and interaction with these people proved the earlier
classification to be dead wrong. As it turned out they were different from early
man and couldn't be put into the same mold. They had developed agriculture
but did not practice farming except on certain Islands that did not have enough
natural food. They did not hunt animals because they were vegetarians. They
lived in caves because the caves were cool during the day and warm at night.
They had the appearance of Neanderthals because that is the way they had
developed. They did not cook their food because it had never occurred to them
to do so. They preferred their food raw. They were capable of making small
fires in the caves if they got a little chilly at night. They did go at least 40 feet
from the cave entrance to expel their waste. On the inner islands they had
developed a complicated board game that was similar to chess and were very
good at it. I took our smartest people several months to win a game from one
of them. These people were not war like, they were very friendly and
hospitable. They welcomed strangers and were interested in learning about
them. They had a spoken language that everyone on the planet seemed to
speak, no matter where on the planet they lived. They went around nude
because they liked to and because they had a warm fur coat that nature had
given them. There was a written form of their language that used an alphabet
of 24 letters or symbols but only their scholars and elders who lived on the inner
could read and write. This is about where man was in the tenth century AD.
These people had a profound sense of humor, they loved practical jokes if there
was no serious or dangerous consequence and they could sit around and tell
each other jokes and laugh by the hour. We later discovered that a typical adult
knew the the same 10,000, or so jokes, that all the others knew and they would
tell the same jokes to each other over and over. The object of an Artonian joke
is not in the punch line but the telling. They were in a sense relating short
stories that everyone liked.
Because there were few motivations to improve they didn't bother. They
were patently lazy. Even though there were many hallucinogens available on
the planet there were age old taboos against ingesting them. An Artonian had
rather die than to get stoned, it was part of their culture. They had a concept of
God but no concept of the devil. They had a concept of heaven but no concept
of hell. They appreciated art but only their scholars ever created any. They had
never had a reason to compete physically with others because, I guess there
was plenty of everything to go around. They had doctors who they sought out
when they needed them. The doctors were skilled in herbal medicine and were
quite good at it. Many of these people have learned English but few of our
people have learned to speak Igaghu, their language. When we first made
contact their names were Incomprehensible to us but now they come easily.
They are intensely interested in everything we do, they are little pests,
they will stay with one worker all day and ask him as many as a hundred
questions in eight hours. Sometimes they ask the same question several times,
it is as though they all have Alzheimer's. In their case it is just faulty memory.
They can remember their language and where they live and who their friends
and relatives are and what they need to know to stay alive but to try and teach
them something you are just wasting your time. They did learn and retain our
language because they were motivated. They remember their jokes because
they are motivated but when you try and teach one a skill his mind wanders and
he pays little attention to what you are telling him because he sees no practical
application as to how it relates to things he needs to know.
He may ask a workman “Why did you turn that valve” If the workman
explains that he did it to let some of the gas in this cylinder, enter that system
over there, the native will look very enlightened and nod his understanding.
When the system has been pressurized the native will ask again why the
workman turned the valve and the workman explains that the system I am
working on has been pressurized so I am shutting the valve. Once again the
look of intelligent comprehension comes over his face and he nods his
understanding of what he has just witnessed. If he follows the workman who
takes the same tank to an identical system and turns the valve again the native
will ask the same questions that he asked when the workman did the same job
five minutes before. Natives are curious about why you do something but if it
has no direct consequence on their lives they intentionally forget it immediately.
On the other hand if you were spreading peanut butter and jelly on a piece of
bread and you placed another piece of bread on top of it, forming a sandwich
he would ask you what you were doing. If you ate the sandwich and decided to
make yourself another sandwich just like the first one he would ask you the
same questions again. If you were to give him half of the first sandwich and he
did not like it he would throw his half away. Then if you made yourself another
sandwich like the first one he would ask the same questions again. If he liked
the half that you gave him of the first sandwich he would remember where you
got the bread from, where you got the peanut butter from, where you got the
jelly from and not have to ask you again about peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches. If you left him alone in the room and went outside to do a minor
chore then returned to the room you would see that he had the three items
necessary to construct the sandwich with on the table, had made himself a
sandwich and was happily munching down on it. If he came into your house a
year later, he might very well go to where you kept the ingredients and make
himself another sandwich and offer you half of it.
If one of them is eating a piece of fruit and another asks him for it he
gives it to the person that asks for it and goes to the nearest tree and picks
himself another. They have no monitory system because they see no
immediate benefit to having money. Everything they need in their lives is
abundant and free.
They love to watch each other make love. That is one of their favorite
pass times. They are not monogamous, they have no concept of fatherhood
and no word for father. They are aware that sexual relations between a man
and a woman produce children but they are never interested in who the father
is. If a male is particularly fond of a certain female he is more likely to
recommend her to his friends than he is to try to keep her for himself. Native
men are with women like they are with everything else, they just have no sense
of ownership of anything.
We just accept them the way they are, they are very amusing to watch
and to hold conversations with. They are pests and nascences but they are so
friendly and adorable that you can't get mad at one of them. First off they
wouldn't grasp the concept of getting mad. You can close the door to your
home and lock it but if they want to come and visit you they will try and find
another way into your house and if they can't they will stand and knock on your
door for hours at a time. If their hands get sore they will pick up a stick or a
rock or anything handy and beat on your door with that until you let them in. If
there is no one home they never try to enter, they won't even try your door
because somehow they know you are not at home, but pity the poor
householder who is at home and does not let the native in, he will just keep
knocking until your door gives way. When they come for a visit they may want
to stay for two minutes or two weeks. When they tire of being there and want to
leave they just abruptly get up and walk out. They have no concept of hello or
good by. There are no words in their language to express those concepts.
Some of our people have moved to Islands where there are no natives to
get away from them. The natives fear the oceans so it has never occurred to
one of them to build a boat. When boats operated by Earth people who live on
an island where there no natives visit an Island Island that does have natives
they thoroughly inspect the vassal before casting off to make sure there are no
natives on board.
Our original reports mentioned the presence of dinosaurs, that report
was only accurate to a degree. There are animals here that look like all the
pictures of dinosaurs that we have seen in books but these are quite different.
For one thing the largest dinosaur I have ever seen was about the size of a
horse. Most of them are closer to the size of dogs. Actually when you think
about it the only difference between a dinosaur on Earth and a horned toad is
its size. These dinosaurs on Arton are all vegetarians, in fact we have never
encountered a carnivore on Arton. Nothing on this planet eats anything else on
this planet. All of the inhabitants eat fruits, nuts, vegetables and plants. The
growth here is as profuse as it is in the Amazon Basin, only here on Arton
everything is eatable. Nothing is poisonous. The only kinds of animals that we
have encountered here are the dinosaurs. They will come if you call them, the
little ones would make good house pets because they are so friendly. They are
smart but if you teach one of them a trick he will do it for you again for maybe
the next hour but the next day you would have to teach him the trick all over
again. If they encounter one of our work crews they will just graze nearby and
watch what we are doing for as long as we remain. When we leave they will
sometimes follow us home and sometimes just wander off in some other
direction. There are fresh water pools lakes and streams all over the islands.
The weather is about perfect.
This is really more like the garden of Eden than it is like the Amazon
Basin. The most popular vacation on Arton is to just go native for a while.
There are no continents as we know them. The entire planet is covered by
water and dotted with islands. The natives don't like salt water because in the
salt water there are carnavours. Quite a variety of them. On a few Islands
there are the upper class the people with a better education. The Islands that
they live on have buildings and some of the citizens dabble in the arts and in a
limited amount of science. Their science is about up to where man's scientific
knowledge was at the time of Christ. They have discovered the wheel and
domesticated a few dinosaurs to pull their carts. They have named the closest
stars that they can see with the naked eye. They have built boats and learned
to navigate their boats that are propelled by sails. They have even melted down
gold and made a few coins, not for circulation as money but as cooperatives of
important events and to honor their past leaders.
Artonion natives have an interesting way of disposing of their dead.
They wait for low tide then they drag the deceased out to the low tide mark and
wait the body down with rocks. When tide comes in and then recedes again the
body is gone. They don't grieve for their dead the same way humans do. They
just accept the death as a part of life. They hold a simplistic view of the
hereafter and they do believe in reIncarnation. So in their view the deceased
person has not died he has just moved on to his new body.
We have made an effort to educate these people but with only limited
success. Down deep they have the same personal characteristics as the fools
that live on the other islands. If one of their people is trying to solve a particular
problem when you happen on to him and you show him the solution he will
remember that solution and apply it the next time that he faces that same
problem. If you sit him down in a class room and try to teach him the solution to
other problems he will loose interest and walk out.
One time I went to a boat yard where some men were building a boat.
When I showed one of them a better way to do a certain task he was courteous
and interested and told me that he understood what I had told him and he sure
appreciated learning a better way. When he came to the same task a few
minutes later he did it the same way he had always done it. What I had taught
him just didn't register. If he was faced with a problem he couldn't solve and
you showed him how to solve it he would remember what you taught him and
he would do it that way from then on. So much for their elite people.
The problem with this planet is that once the new wears off there is
nothing to do. You can't really improve it. You don't need to tame the animals,
you can't teach them much. The people are really friendly but they are
worthless. Food is plentiful but we have to conceal the fact that we are
carnivores from the natives. They just wouldn't understand eating another
animal. It would get them confused. On the Island where there are no natives
we have farms where we raise cows and goats and the like for meat and dairy
products but on this Island we do not raise Earth animals or Earth plants. On
the humans Island it is more like Earth We have an observatory that has done
some really fascinating work. They have charted at least one hundred other
planets worth exploration. The observatory however, has been closed down for
the last 20 years.
We haven't had a shipment of anything from Earth in over fifty years so
there are no stores and most of our money has just rotted away. We still have a
few coins left but mostly we just use the barter system or help anyone that
needs any help and give away anything we don't need. The way the economy
works is that if you make cheese you give it away to anyone that wants it. If
you make anything you just give it away. A lot of people just do nothing but
people are always asking them to help with some task like building a fence or a
barn or something. If asked they cheerfully lend a helping hand. When those
freeloaders want something from someone who produces it the producers
usually assign them a small task that they must do first before they get the
product that they want. For example if a freeloader wants cheese the cheese
maker will ask him to sweep out the office in exchange for the cheese. If the
freeloader were to refuse he would not get the cheese.
A lot of the people are just fed up with Arton. I think many of them would
return to Earth if given the opportunity. It sounds exciting there now and I think
most of us would like to be a part of that. My guess would be that 50% of the
people would return to Earth if they could, the rest would perfectly content to
remain here on Arton. If you did take some of these people back with you they
would be of marginal value. The could not or would not do more than was
required to survive.
There has been a feeling of apathy set in on the planet. We had local
Government 4o years ago but then an election came along and nobody wanted
to run for office so they devolved the government. If someone commits a crime
they just give them a boat and tell him to find another island to live on. That has
only happened a couple of times though. We built churches but people just lost
interest and quit attending. All we have ever accomplished is cottage industry.
If the people need wood to build something the women hound the men until
they go out and cut down a few trees. There is a fifty year old saw mill where
they can cut the trees into lumber but the logs usually just lay there for a few
months before a crew gets together and fires up the mill. We have schools that
run through the fifth grade but most kids don't attend regularly and their parents
don't usually make them attend. Besides most of the time a teacher does not
show up. If things continue like this in another two hundred years we will be
living like the natives. The only thing that separates us from them now is that
our women get pregnant easier. This planet could easily become
overpopulated with humans. Our population keeps growing. We have
examined several native women and found that hey only ovulate about once a
year so they have babies a lot less frequently than human women do. That is
why the planet will never be overpopulated with natives. When one Island gets
overcrowded with humans a few of us just move on to the next island. Some
islands have natives living on them and some do not. Everyone just picks an
island to their choosing and lives there.
Many of us from Earth have become aware that there is something about
this planet that changes the way you view things. It never had much effect on
the ones of us who came here from Earth but the people who were born on
Arton are more like the natives than they are like us. Some of us have blamed
it on the atmosphere of the planet, some have speculated that there be
something in the food but I have developed my own theory. That is that the
living here is just too easy.
You wanted me to tell you about Arton that is about all there is to tell.
This document copied and distributed to all crew members courtesy of
Arton Fleet Command since they do not have copy equipment or paper on
Arton.
CHAPTER – Admiral Carter's Decision May 2175
Admiral Joe Carter was holding a staff meeting for the four ship captains
and their executive officers. “Have you read this update gentlemen?” They all
nodded that they had. “Not only have I read it but I have visited the planet and
verified it. Considering this report I would like to propose a course of action.
This course of action is based on the conclusions that I have reached from
reading the report and seeing conditions for myself. We could take maybe eight
thousand people to Earth and Earth could sure use more people.” If we did that
we would be cherry picking the youngest, the brightest and the best from this
society on Arton. These are the very people that are needed here. After all this
is the outpost of humanity. Arton may someday prove to be as important as
Earth. As it turned out the best investment that mankind ever made was the
investment we made in developing Mars. As it stands now Earth could use a
couple hundred million people and Mars could even use a quarter million but
both Mars and Earth are sustainable with the people that they have. It will just
take a little longer to repopulate. Adding eight thousand more from Arton would
hurt Arton and it really wouldn't change all that much on Mars or Earth. I
propose that we take no more than a couple hundred people back with us and
only those that are determined to go. I would like to take as many plants as we
can. Obviously we could not fill our ships with plants but we could take enough
to establish several hundred new species on Mars and Earth. We should take a
sampling of Animals back to the San Diego Zoo and that is about it. We should
call on this planet once every twenty years or so but not bother to resupply
them. They have everything they need or deserve. I think we should park two
of these ships in orbit around Earth and two in Orbit around Mars, so if Mars
Runner ever craps out we can still get back and forth to Mars. By the time
Earth is ever postured again to take on space exploration these ships will have
been long dead. By having them, though if some catastrophe were to hit the
solar system we could always use them to move a few thousand humans to
Arton. Any suggestions or comments?” “Yes,” said one of the Captains. “We
don't have the final say, but I believe the planarity leaders would agree with the
plan that you just outlined.
It took them four months to load the plants, some thought that they
should take some Arton Natives back to Earth. They finally settled on taking no
humans other than the crew of Arton Three and only one hundred Arton
Natives. The justification for taking any natives at all was to preserve the
species if Arton were to be destroyed. They knew that the natives would never
be contented living among Earth people so they decided to plant some of their
native plants on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. It came closer than any place on
Earth to matching their native habitat. They would assign only two human
volunteers to live with them and care for their native plants which needed no
care on Arton. They already knew they could not count on teaching the
Artonians to care for them. They had considered putting them in the San Diego
Zoo but these weren't animals these were sentient beings. They decided that
they would select 75 natives from the outer island population and twenty five
from the more advanced inner island group. They decided to take none to
Mars. They figured that Artonians would not understand low gravity.
It was a real shock when they were approached by one of the Artonian
inner island natives who had read about Mars and he wanted to go there. Not
only did he want to go there but there were another thousand Artonians, all from
the upper class who were well informed on Mars and said they wanted to live
on Mars also. We know that your people eat animals and animal products and
we condone your practice because we realize that you are from a different
culture. We also know that Mars already produces a huge surplus of fruits and
vegetables and with the addition of an ample supply of our native plants and
vegetables that we can grow on Mars we will be just fine. I think I would enjoy
the low gravity and I know the importance of the required daily workouts.
It seems that this group was motivated to learn about Mars and once an
Artonian is properly motivated he can accomplish anything that a human can
accomplish. They had a lot easier time in learning English than humans had in
learning their language. There had long been held on Arton that these upper
class people were the next evolutionary step for the natives of Arton. Admiral
Carter had a long talk with the members of the group that wanted to go to Mars
and finally they managed to convInce him that they were sincere and
understood what they were getting into. The crews then harvested enough
Artonian plants with the help of the ones that were going to Mars to fill the cargo
bays of the Arton Three. Arton Three and four would be the two space craft that
would establish a parking orbit around Mars.
They then reconsidered and elected to take only upper class people to
Earth. They put the word out that they were seeking volunteers to migrate to
Earth and had over five thousand applicants. They took one thousand of them
but only the ones that knew about Earth and knew what conditions awaited
them. The group themselves decided that they had rather go to San Diego than
to Kauai. Most of them volunteered to raise Artonian and Earth fruits and
vegetables. Some of them even volunteered to work in the San Diego Zoo as
grounds keepers and care givers to the animals. Once again, they were
motivated. They said that they understood about caring for plants. This group
selected even more plants from Arton for them to care for when they reached
San Diego. Before they departed they had two of the giant ships loaded with
Artonian plants.

CHAPTER – Captain Horn reevaluates the Artonians


September 4, 2175: The four Arton ships departed Arton bound for Mars.
Two days underway an Artonian entered the human dining room of the A1and
walked up to a table where Captain Horn and two of the ships officers had
finished dining and were engaged in small talk while remaining at their table.
“Gentlemen, may I sit with you for a moment there are several things that I
would like to tell you.” The officers invited him to sit down. “Let me introduce
myself, since I can't even pronounce my name in your language you can just
call me Ben.” “Ben then produced a copy of the “UPDATED INFORMATION ON
ARTON” report from his fanny pack. There are several places in this report
where I could take exception but that is not why I am here. One thing that I do
agree with is that we have have a retention problem when we are not
motivated. I was born into what you describe as a first century culture.
Fortunately for me your people provided me with access to a twenty second
century culture. I was motivated early in life to learn to read write and think in
the English Language. My parents (plural), yes I was raised in a home with a
mother and a father, were both fluent in English. In our home we did not use
the native language and I do not speak it fluently. As I grew older I was strongly
motivated to close the gap, to catch up. I was a prolific reader and have read
hundreds of scientific books in English. Since I was motivated to remember
what I read I did remember it. I was determined to close the gap from being a
first century man to becoming a twenty second century man. I accomplished
that goal years ago. Let me tell you a little more about my species. I found out
that when properly motivated we have better memories than your people have.
Not only is this true of me but it is true of all of the people in my group which
you have brought on this ship. There were only about three hundred of us on
Arton. We figured that if you knew who we were you would not remove us from
Arton. Now that we are well underway it would be highly impractical for you to
return us to Arton. Besides there are still a little more than one hundred of us
still on Arton. From what I know of evolution we are the next step up the ladder
but I have some sobering news for you, we skipped a rung in that ladder. The
common people that live among your people on several Islands are truly
Neanderthals, I had originally assumed that I was Cro-Magnun on the
evolutionary scale but since every one of my people on this ship has scored
over 165 on human IQ tests we have adopted a new classification term for your
evolutionary scale. We classify ourselves as homo-futures. We are present
day living examples of what the future holds for mankind. Gentlemen, the
charade is over, you can quit treating us like children now. If my you are correct
in thinking that my people are motivationally challenged then then I am here to
tell you that we have met the challenge. Most of us made the dietary change
early in life and started cooking our food. As you know, on Arton it would be
inappropriate to eat any of the animals inhabit the planet. They are too
intelligent to slaughter for their flesh, and besides that their meat tastes terrible.
On several occasions I have had the opportunity to taste the flesh of your farm
animals and I love it. I myself am particularly fond of Chicken Tacos. I hereby
request that from now on we be allowed to eat what you eat and eat it right here
in your dining room. We would like access to all parts of the ship that a human
passenger would have access to, Including the ships library. We would like
instruction in the use of computers which we have never had access to. That
concludes my spiel gentlemen, what do you think?”
“I would like for you to accompany us to our science lab and I would like
to hear how you come off talking to scientists in various disciplines. I want to
listen in while you discuss science with scientists. I would also like to choose
one other member of your group, at random to join in on this challenge.”
Captain Horn responded.
Ben accompanied the officers to the floor where the Artonian passengers
were billeted. Captain Horn selected the first passenger they encountered and
the five of them headed for the science lab.
The first scientist that they encountered was a theoretical physicist
named Myron Ashton. The Captain explained the situation and Myron started
cutting loose with the jargon. He went on for about one full minute and Ben
held up the palm of his hand to Myron. “What is it,“ Captain Horn asked Ben.
Ben responded “Does this guy have all his marbles, Captain?” “He is talking as
though he did not realize that he was addressing an orangutan.” With that Ben
busted out laughing, Ben's companion also busted out laughing. The door to
the lab swung open and five other Artonians entered the room almost in tears
from their laughter. Ben said, “You gotta, admit that I had you going there for a
few minutes didn't I Cap.” At that point the captain and the other two officers
realized that they had been the butt of an Artonian practical joke and they
busted out laughing.
Despite the proven inaccuracy of Ben's claims Captain Horn had gotten
the point of Ben's joke. For the remainder of the Journey Captain Horn and the
officers of the ship saw Ben's people in a whole new light. The Artonians did
get the run of the passenger section of the ship, people began to treat them
with a modicum of respect. When they were offered the opportunity to actually
eat human food they respectfully declined but suggested that the Artonian food
be served on the food line and they be allowed to dine with the other
passengers and crew. That request was also granted. It was interesting to note
that at all future meals the Artonians did not congregate as a ghetto but would
ask politely if they could join humans that were dining.
Ben had not lied about one thing the Artonians on the ship were a cut
above the rest of the Artonian civilization. They did read a lot of books, and
they were motivated to learn, they did have an above average retention rate
when motivated . It would still take more than one generation to leap 22
centuries ahead in time. Captain Horn requested that all Artonians be given a
standard IQ test. The average score was 98 but Ben scored 131, which is just
below the genius level for humans.

CHAPTER – Artonians arrive on Mars


February 12, 2176: Arton Three makes Mars Orbit. The the following
day the other ships made Mars orbit For the remainder of the journey Ben and
several of his companions were taught various jobs that were being performed
by the crew. When they reached Mars approach Ben and his people were at
the controls and made Mars orbit without a hitch. Of course they had
competent human supervision, but not once did a human have to intervene.
The little Artonian space men had performed their assigned jobs to perfection.
Ben had been on the bridge and filled the role as Captain with Captain Horn
looking intently over his shoulder.
The Artonians destined for Mars had traveled on Arton Four. They
proved very popular on Mars. While the Arton ships had been gone nothing big
had transpired on Mars. Mars had pleaded their case successfully with Earth
that even though they still had fifty thousand population the people who
remained were mostly past their child bearing years and if they didn't get some
young people back from Earth Mars could eventually die out. Even though
Josh had a thousand things that had to be done for every worker he saw the
reason and logic behind Mars argument. A trade was negotiated to trade two
thousand five hundred older Martians for two thousand five hundred younger
people from Earth who still had their child bearing years in front of them. The
ones that Mars sent to Earth were all accomplished journeymen in their trades
and could be of immediate use on Earth. The two thousand five hundred
young people that Mars got in return were mostly still in school. They were not
worth all that much to Earth at the moment. The people who transferred were
all volunteers. A lot of the parents on Earth sent their children to Mars to live
with their grandparents, a lot of the people from Mars going to Earth had a
chance to see their children and grandchildren. Now that Mars Runner was not
overcrowded nor overworked and now that the ticket price was just a nominal
service charge for travel in either direction there were more people moving back
and forth. There were even some people traveling as tourists between the two
planets. The journey between Mars and Earth in the twenty second century had
become tantamount to travel between Europe and the Americas in the
nineteenth century.
Mars launched a communication to Earth every evening at 1800. Earth
launched one to Mars every morning at 0600. The latest news from each camp
was always Included with every transmission along with personal messages,
photos, film footage, Including home videos. There was of course no charge for
this service. They hoped at both ends to one day have the internet working on
Earth again so they could reestablish the direct internet connection but for now
twice a day radio communication would have to do.
The Artonians were a big hit with the Martians. These adorable little
imps won their hearts immediately. When the Martians finally realized that the
Artonians were were actually sentient beings and not animals they were
welcomed into the Martian society. There were plenty of vacant houses
available because of all the Martians who had been sent to Earth. The
Artonians were given their choice of where they wanted to live. Most of them
elected to settle in New Phoenix. All of them had numerous job offers. The
Artonians had come to Mars prepared for a new life style. For their first six
months on Mars they would all be working with Carl Jacobs, Abner's son who
now ran the farm operations on Mars, in establishing the Artonian plants on
Mars. Carl thought it would be better if they were scattered throughout the
many caverns rather than to be located all in the same place. Within two
months there were over a million Artonian plants growing on Mars. Within six
months they were harvesting fruits, vegetables, nuts and greens. At first the
Martians thought so many plants was overkill but once they tasted them they
were almost ready to let the Earth plants die out. Everyone preferred the
Artonian products. The winery even started experimenting with making wine
from Artonian fruit. Within little over a year there were new wines on the market
different from any they had ever produced before. There was some concern
whether or not the Earth Bees would pollinate the Arton plants but not to worry
the Bees couldn't tell the difference, they just pollinated all the plants. Five
hundred of the one thousand Artonians made it their life's work tending plants
and trees for the farm. The other five hundred found various other employment
within the Mars Community. The Artonians loved the reduced gravity but kept
jumping too high and spraining ankles when they came down.
A monument had been erected in New Phoenix in memory of Tim Erkin,
a true pioneer who had become known as the father of Mars. Tim had a place
in the history of Mars equal to that occupied by George Washington, in the
United States. The inscription at the base of the statue read “In Loving Memory
of Timothy Farnsworth Erkin, Born in Houston, Texas July 14, 2082 arrived on
Mars September 28, 2107. Died in New Phoenix, Mars September 28, 2167 at
the age of 85. He spent the last 60 years of his life developing Mars.
Tim had lived long enough to see settlers leaving Mars returning to
Earth.
February 22, 2176: Arton One and Two break Mars orbit bound for Earth.

PART III

CHAPTER – Contact with Dedov


One of the scientists had shown a couple of Artonians how to operate the
now abandoned Telescope in the observatory and the Radio telescope there.
They were fascinated by the optical telescope and began spending their free
time searching the heavens.
March 18, 2176: One evening while they were searching for Pluto
they caught a spaceship coming out of Warp and entering the solar system.
Since the four Arton ships were accounted for this had to be from some
unknown location. They immediately had the presence of mind to hit the record
button and caught the event on video. One of them continued to monitor the
ship while the other used his cell phone to call for assistance. When the
scientists arrived they couldn't believe that these two little people had just made
the biggest discovery in history. From that minute on every move the vassal
made was caught on tape. The space ship established orbit around one planet
after another working their way in toward Mercury. They would remain at a
planet for a day or two then move on in to the next planet toward the sun.
Eventually they reached Mars and made orbit behind the Arton Two. By the
time they arrived the two space ships had been fully crewed. The Aliens
apparently mistook the Arton Space craft for orbiters, they paid the ships little
attention. They then launched four shuttle from their ship. The Shuttle made
methodical passes over the entire surface of Mars. Seeing the few buildings on
the surface and the now inactive mining operations and apparently reading the
atmosphere and finding it unusable they returned to their ship. Three beings
wearing space suits then boarded one of the shuttles and flew toward the Mars
Orbiter. Their docking equipment was a large suction device that would match
up with any object that they found in space.
Since the ship was first spotted in the solar system the communications
crew in the Arton Three had been recording all their radio transmissions and
feeding them into translator equipment. It was determined from the way they
spoke that these were very humanoid beings. Their language was very difficult
for the translator to do much with. Two of the communications crew members
were Artonian. They were doing better than the electronic device. When the
translator made an error in translating a word the Artonians were beginning to
pick up on it and correct the translator. The crew had determined that the
visitors meant them no harm and that they carried no weapons.
They were amazed when they entered the Orbiter and saw the two Fred
Harley and Alvin Jones on duty. The beings acted very excited. They were
definitely humanoid. They had two arms and two legs and were actually so
similar to Human Beings that one of them could pass as a human but if you
were to see a group of them together you would notice that their heads were a
little higher in back and a little wider and the skull protruded about half an Inch
further in back. Later analysis showed that their internal organs were almost
identical to humans. They were on an average two Inches shorter then humans
and weighed on an average seventeen pounds less. Some of them had dark
blue hair that could pass for black. Their blood types and teeth were identical to
humans.
Fred and Alvin had known they were coming so they showed no alarm
when the aliens entered the orbiter. Fred merely looked up and nodded a
greeting to them then continued with what he was working on for a minute or
so. Alvin just more or less ignored them. The aliens had consulted a hand
held instrument then removed their space helmets. The Earthlings noticed that
the older of the three aliens had positioned himself in front of the other two.
both Earth men left their work stations, moved slowly over to the one that was
obviously the boss. It had earlier been discussed and decided that they should
the little traditional Japanese bow rather than to offer to shake hands. Alvin,
standing just slightly behind Fred held the translator in his left hand. Fred
addressed the Alien first, “Welcome to Mars,” he said slowly and distInctly. The
machine uttered four syllables that were Incomprehensible to Fred and Alvin but
it brought a smile to the faces of the aliens. The leader then uttered three
syllables and and the alien translator said “Thank you.” “The translator
parroted the same three syllables that the alien had just uttered. Alvin kind of
chuckled, switched his machine off and laid it on the table beside him. This
could get confusing using two machines. It was obvious that both machines
had the same function.
. Finally the alien holding their translator machine smiled at the others
and gave the thumbs up. He must have indicated, “Got it.” The leader of the
group was then handed the device by the technician, who had been working
with it. The leader spoke into the machine is his native voice and the machine
translated what he said into imperfect English. “We from planet #######, we
come peaceful. Explore #######. What planet you from?”
Fred did not have a chance to respond, a small intercom speaker affixed
to the wall of the orbiter came on. “This Captain Cummings of the space ship
Arton Four.” The alien machine did not translate this but all three aliens looked
up at the box on the wall, indicating they had heard the noise but their translator
couldn't handle the translation. Alvin retrieved his translator and repeated, “This
Captain Cummings of the space ship Arton Four.” Alvin's machine translated
that immediately. The alien continued, “Thank You, we need new planet, our
planet break up, loose orbit looking for home for our people.” “Any other planet
this system make home for many people?” “No, Fred answered these planets
all dead we use for mining operation.” “You have room on your planet for more
people?” “No, too many people now,” said Fred” hungry people we need more
planet also. “OK we ask other ship visit your planet soon? Maybe we can help
you people. If we find more good planet than we need we tell you people. Our
ship very fast, go warp 4.” The alien turned to leave, “Wait, how many people
you have need home for?” “Our planet now has four million people and it is
no bigger than this dead planet here.” Fred pulled out a copy of a chart of
planets that had been discovered from the observatory on Arton that showed
the 105 other planets worth exploring someday. “Is your planet on this chart?”
The alien studied the chart for a minute. “Yes, Yes, Our planet circle this sun
right here, that our planet see.” The alien pointed to a planet six or so light years
from Mars. “Fred thought these poor guys are a year and a half from home
already at warp 4.
Fred also noticed that the quality of output from their translator had
suddenly improved. Fred had started to say “Sorry I can't help you when the
intercom from Arton Four kicked in. “This is Captain Cummings again, you did
a wonderful job ensign Jones now please direct these people over to the Four.
Tell them I will have the door open for them to fly their Shuttle right on board
and tell them I will be expecting them. “What was that noise?” The Alien asked.
“That was the intercom from the second ship behind us in orbit. My Captain is
on that ship and wants to talk to you.” The alien thanked Fred, disappeared
through the air lock broke connection. As the alien shuttle approached the Four
a gaping hole appeared as the boarding lock opened. The alien commander
never hesitated, he flew his craft right into the Arton Four. Captain Cummings
had rigged his office so that everything said on the ship was being transmitted
to the planet.
Cummings started out by saying that he did not have a translation
machine so they would have to use the one the alien had. Actually Cummings
did have one that had become programmed to the alien's language during the
last five hours. Cummings figured that two translation machines in operation
would just confuse matters. The alien's machine said “Greetings, my name is
##### #########, of the planet ########## (that is the way Cummings
translator worked also, if there was no word for what was being said it would
just beep, this one clicked.) We are unarmed and come in peace, Our ship
carries no weapons not even for our defense.” “I know said Cummings that is
why I am talking with you. We have already scanned your ship and found it
clean.” “We scanned your ships and the mining colony down there and found
them clean also. Where do your miners stay, underground? If you can breath
the atmosphere on this ship you sure couldn't breath the air on that planet.”
“Yes the miners are housed in an underground airtight cavern.” “Did you listen
in on my conversation with ensign Fred? If you did then you know why we are
here. We are disparate people, we have more people than we can feed, many
are dying from starvation. We are not and never have been aggressive people.
We are what you would call pacifists. The only way that I have of proving this to
you is our literature which you can't read at the moment and our videos. You
can watch thousands of hours of our videos and never see a weapon of any
kind.” About that time a shuttle from the planet flew into the landing bay.
“Please come with me gentlemen, we are going to take a little trip to the planet.
If you have any others you would like to bring along we can pick them up at
your ship on the way down.” “How many more does your shuttle carry?” Each
shuttle holds sixty passengers how many shuttles do you require?” “First lets
just us go to your planet then we can send for others.” After boarding the shuttle
the two other aliens handed their translators to the leader who plugged them
into his and pressed a button on his. All three translators began to hum. In less
a minute the leader had apparently updated the other two translators.

CHAPTER – Dedovians visit Mars March 2176


“I never expected anything like this the alien said when he stepped out of
the elevator in the Utility cavern and onto the waiting bus. They were whisk
away through the Ocean cavern, then a slight detour through the vineyards in
the Hour Glass cavern to New Phoenix. When they got off at the old Federal
building in New Phoenix all of the leaders of Mars were waiting for them. They
had all either heard or been briefed on what the alien had to say. “If what you
have to say is true and so far we have every reason to believe that it is perhaps
we can help you. Here is our situation.” He described the destruction of Earth,
and the loss of their nine billion people. He explained that the population of
Mars had been depleted to help with the re population of our home planet. He
told them that either Mars, Earth or Arton could accommodate their entire
population. Our question for you is how fast you could move people to Arton
and how fast could those people learn our language.”
The Alien studied the chart, did some computations then announced, “I
make it to be a little under one light year from ####### to Arton. We have thirty
ships, capable of Warp speeds They can each transport 864 passengers. With
no cargo and over crowing we could maybe take 2,000 per trip. A round trip
would take by your calender, about five of your months. That would only be
60,000 of our people in one of your years. By making new ship production our
only priority, we could possibly move a little over one million of our people to
Arton, and then if our planet remains viable for another fifteen of your years.”
You must understand that we never entertained any hope of getting all of our
people off of Our planet. Our aim was to establish a significant presence on
some other planet in order to preserve our race.”
Captain Cummings put in, “the people that you transport will not be able
to remain on Arton indefinitely, but Arton is still closer to your home planet than
it is to our home planet of Earth. Arton would be just a temporary place for
your people to wait for transportation to Earth. There is someone here that I
want you to meet. Gil come up here.” A little Artonian stepped forward and held
out his hand to the alien. “These people have said much but let me be the first
to say “Welcome to Mars.” A dead silence fell over the crowed. Gil had just
addressed the alien in his native tung. “Captain Cummings stammered “Where
and how did you learn their language, Gil?” “Oh, I am not yet proficient in their
language yet but I have been listening to every word that has they have said
since they arrived and I have picked up enough to say a few simple things, it
would probably take me more than a week to become proficient. How did you
think that all of us learned your language as quickly as we did? There are some
things that Artonians are better at than humans are . Language just happens to
be one of them. You might just say that Artonians have a faculty for languages.”
Gil then addressed the alien “ You have probably guessed that I am a
native of the planet Arton. There are about as many humans on Arton as there
natives. Soon I will be able to speak your language fluently. Our brains are
arranged differently than the human brain. The temporal lobe of our brains is
almost three times the size of the temporal lobe in the human brain. The
Frontal Lobe however is half the size of the frontal lobe of the human brain. In
a nutshell this means that humans are better than us at reasoning and problem
solving and we are better at languages and speech. Humans show more
individuality.” Gil spoke his later words in English and they went through the
translator machine.
Captain Horn of Arton Three spoke into the translator. “ We only have
four craft capable of Warp speed but they can carry up to five thousand people
at a time if we carry no cargo and put atmosphere into the cargo holds. Our
ships are larger than yours and are capable of speeds up to Warp eleven. How
long do you have before your planet is no longer habitable?” “Perhaps at least
ten but not more than 20 of your years. I am just not comfortable yet in
converting time to your years.” “I am sorry for that but it is the only way any of
us have ever thought about time Increments. One year is how long it takes our
home planet to make one complete orbit of our sun, for example a man can
generally live for about eighty years.” “In that case we may have from 15 to
thirty years. Where is your home planet, Captain?” “It would have been the
next planet you would have come to in your search of our solar system. Had
you not found us on Mars you would be on Earth by now. Earth is six times the
size of Mars and was overpopulated by twelve billion people when war
destroyed almost every living thing on the planet. That was only about fifty
years ago. People from this colony on Mars have repopulated the Earth but
with only about two hundred thousand people. The infrastructure was only
damaged and has been found to be ninety percent usable. It was the animals
that all died from radiation poisoning. We believe that the war came about from
a lack of our ability to really communicate with one another. There were over
three hundred languages on Earth at the time of the destruction and more than
150 separate nations. Most of them possessed nuclear weapons so when the
first one went off everyone else launched all they had at the nation they
perceived to be their arch enemy. In two hours the atmosphere became lethal.
Within a few days all the land creatures on earth, Including man became
extInct. Twelve Billion was far too many people, a large number of those people
were starving to death every year. Now there are too few people. We feel that
the right number of people for Earth would be from one to five billion. We made
a vow that from now on we would only allow one language to be spoken on
Earth. All of us who survived on Arton, Mars and in space spoke only the
English language so it is only logical that in the future all people living on the
Earth must speak English fluently. All of the people on Arton and on Mars
speak only English.”
Captain Cummings added, “Once we get the course down pat from your
planet to Arton our four ships should be able to transport about four hundred
thousand of your people in one years time. I am sure that all four of our ships
will be at your service but at the end of one year our ships are going to have to
start moving the people that you have on Arton to Earth. We still have three
ships that are capable of speeds just under Warp that can take of the run from
Mars to Earth. Two of these ships have been decommissioned for many years
but they are still in a parking orbit around Earth and could be put back in
service.”
The alien said I can not believe our good fortune I will radio home as
soon as I return to my ship and give them all this good news.” “What do you
mean radio home, our ships will be there long before a radio signal could reach
your planet.” “Then perhaps, my friend we have something we can give you.
Many years ago we developed hyper space radio. When I talk to my home
planet they hear what I am saying as though I was only next door.” “I always
hoped that something like that would come along, for us our radio signals are
limited to travel at the speed of light.” “We have at least six spare radios on
board. We will rig Mars with one, leave one here for your interplanetary ship to
take back to Earth and fit each of your space craft with one. I will have one of
our other ships drop one off on Arton, on their first trip there. I am going to
recall all of our space craft to ######### as soon as I return to my ship. They
could begin the evacuation before we get there. When the first of them makes
Arton orbit they can shuttle the planet leaders to the ship and you Captain
Cummings and You Captain Horn and Gil of course, can explain what is
happening.
That evening a special communication was sent to Earth and to A1and
Arton Two telling them what was happening. A communication shot back within
24 minutes asking them to confirm on the other channel. The other channel
was the voice channel and was seldom used. Once a link was established
Captain Cummings gave a verbal description of the events followed by Gil
giving a verbal account in the Artonian language then by a “COME BACK” 26
Minutes later an Artonian voice came on the line speaking in Artonian. It
requested that another Artonian send the same description of events in the
same language. After four hours of verification Admiral Carter was finally
convInced that this was the real thing and that Mars was not being held hostage
by these aliens. The Admiral told them to go back to the text channel and send
him all the details they could think of. Within an hour Mars was transmitting
everything they had learned so far. “Gil who had been talking with the Alien all
this time had told him to go ahead and shuttle his people down for a visit and a
Tour of Mars. The Alien said that their shuttles were too small so Ben asked the
Council Chairman to dispatch one shuttle to the Alien ship to bring down
passengers. Ben then ask for fifty or so videos that the alien had referred to in
an earlier conversation. Ben also requested a grammar book if they had one
and a couple novels. By this time there were fifteen Artonians listening to every
word that was spoken and learning the new language.
In their conversation Gil finally learned the Alien's name and the name of
his planet. The planet was called Dedov, the Alien was Captain Eurokoma.
Ben passed this along to the Radio Room to be Included in the next
transmission to Earth.
The shuttle landed and a bus picked up the crew members. There thirty
seven crew members on the shuttle five more had stayed behind to maintain
the ship. Twelve of the crew members were female, the rest male. The bus
driver took them on a driving tour of Mars, all of the developed caverns and
even some that had been pressurized but had little development. The driver
ended the tour by dropping his passengers off in downtown New Phoenix. Gil
welcomed them in their language. He asked if they had brought the books and
videos that he had requested, they had and they handed them to him. All of
them were a little taken aback by this strange little hairy man that spoke their
language, but not very well. They just couldn't believe that he had learned it in
a few hours. One of the council members brought a clipboard with a lined tablet
on it and asked Gil to get everyones name they it would sound out in English
and write the names on the tablet along with their rank or job or some other
identifying characteristic. Gil started gathering the requested information.
When he was done the councilman took the clipboard and ran off with it. The
crew members found seats at the tables in the town square. Each of them had
an empty bag that he used to put his space suit in. Gil then started describing
to them what all had taken place. By the time he finished the councilman had
returned with name tags for each of them. Gil explained that they should affix
these to their jumpsuits above their vest pockets. They willingly complied.
In appearance they were quite similar to Captain Eurokoma, similar
enough to tell that they were all of the same race. All of them possessed slight
variations in appearance just as Artonians and Earth people did. Gil asked, at
the suggestion of the Council Chairman, if any of them were hungry or wanted a
beverage. That set off a round of conversations that Gil could not follow. Then
a lieutenant Soravov asked “What do you people eat and drink?” Gil explained
human food to them then he explained Artonian food to them. He told them that
we all drink fruit juice from many kinds of fruit combined in many different ways.
It is a the most popular drink on Mars, but everyone has their own favorite
concoctions. I will just have a variety set out and you can taste several. I will
also have them set out a buffet of human food and Artonian food for you to
sample.” Within minutes there were a dozen pitchers of Juice set out and one of
plain water. There was a stack or reusable plastic cups. Within an hour there
was a makeshift buffet set out on several of the empty tables shoved together.
There were trays, silverware and napkins as well. One of the councilmen was
getting all this on video. The juice was sampled with about the same reaction
you would expect from a group of humans trying a new product for the first time.
Some of the Dedovians had two glasses of the same juice, several went for
water and had several glasses of that. More water was summoned. Some tried
a little of several juices then settled for a full glass of the one they liked best.
When they took a tray they knew what it was for. They knew what the
napkins were but examined the silverware closely before attempting to use it.
They exhibited little skill in handling the silverware. One of them fished around
in his pocket and came up with a pair of tongs. He used the knife he had been
furnished and proceeded to eat contentedly. The others just did the best they
could with a fork and a spoon. The food item that was most popular with them
were the cooked vegetables, none of them took any meat but the boiled
potatoes went well. None of them took any of the raw vegetables from the
Arton food selection but they all took raw fruit and fruit salad. Gil had a brief
conversation with lieutenant Soravov then explained to the servers “These
people from Dedov are vegetarians though they are familiar with cheese, they
would like to try our cheese and they wondered if we had any nuts. They
customarily eat with a small pair of tongs and a sharp knife. They also like
bread. They drink milk from dairy animals. They also drink wine and they like a
product that sounds a lot like beer. Could you kitchen folks see if you could find
some of the foods they like but that you do not have out.
Soon trays of cheese and crackers and bread and pitchers of wine
appeared. Several pitchers of milk were brought out and a large bowl of nuts.
“That is wonderful” said lieutenant Soravov, “You have all the foods we like.”
The fifteen other Artonians that had been learning the language
appeared and helped themselves to a tray of raw fruits and vegetables and
glasses of juice. They seated themselves with the crew wherever there was an
empty seat and struck up small conversations. Lieutenant Soravov asked Gil
“How is it that you people speak our language?” “Gil started to reply but then
realized that Lieutenant Soravov had asked the question in English! Gil replied
in English “We learned your language since you have been here, apparently
you have learned English since you have been here also.” “Not so much, we
are not as quick as your people are.”
Admiral Carter had said in his latest communication that he was willing to
take the gamble. I just finished watching the video of the crew having lunch
and we all came to the conclusion that these are sincere people of good
intentions. We are convInced that their planet is in a disintegrating orbit and we
are going to help save as many of them as we can. I will see you on Arton in
about six months Captain Cummings. Make sure that you have that radio for us
when we get there. Beyond that continue sending all the information that you
are able to gather on these people. I would be especially interested in hearing
what our Artonians discover from their videos and books. We will outfit our
ships for maximum passenger accommodations and plan to depart Earth for
Arton within one week unless we hear from you otherwise.

CHAPTER – Earth and Mars help Dedov


July 28, 2176: One by one the space fleet of Dedov began to return to
their home planet. One ship had stopped at Arton and installed the hyper-
space radio equipment in the Arton orbiter. The men working in the orbiter had
no idea they were coming. They just didn't know what to make of having Alien
technicians board their orbiter and start installing radio equipment. The
technicians did not seem threatening and seemed to be doing what they had
been told to do so the two men on the orbiter did not interfere. In the Mars
communications center the radio message from Arton came in loud and clear.
The speaker on Arton was speaking in the language of Dedov. Someone at
Mars communications called Gil. Gil was nearby and was there almost
immediately. Gil listened to the brief message for a moment then began to
speak into the microphone on the desk. Gil conversed back and forth with the
speaker on the other end for about five minutes. Then Gil began to speak in
English, addressing the men in the Arton orbiter and the men in the Mars
communications center at the same time. “This is Gil on Mars, the technicians
who are in your orbiter are from the planet Dedov. We are already quite familiar
with this race on Mars. The people there have just finished installing a hyper-
space radio in your orbiter. They are leaving another radio with you that you will
have to figure out how to install on Arton. I suggest that you install it where my
people live on the upper class island. Artonians are more adroit at
communications than Earthlings are. One of the men working in the orbiter
came back in English with one question after another. Within the next hour Gil
had brought them up to date on the entire situation. The radio had already
been installed on Mars Runner and on the Earth orbiter. Arton now had instant
communications with the star fleet Mars and Earth. Gil told them that the four
Arton ships were en route to Arton and should arrive in about two months to
assist with the evacuation of refugees from Dedov. Gil asked them to try as
best they could to prepare islands on the planet to receive up to one million
refugees over the next several years. Gil explained that this would be
temporary until the bulk of the refugees could be transported to Mars and Earth.
April 22, 2178: All four of the Arton Ships had been to Dedov and had
transported 40,000 refugees to Arton. The Dedov fleet had transported 60,000
more so now there were almost as many people from Dedov living on Arton as
there were humans and Artonians. The natives of Arton no longer seemed as
oblivious to the affairs of their planet and the other beings on it as they had
once seemed. The assignment that they had received to teach English to the
people of Dedov had caught their interest. The island of elders had sent boats
to the islands where the Artonian natives resided and transported a
representative group of natives to each of the islands now populated by
refugees. Even the disinterested Earthlings on the planet had taken up the
cause and were using their boats to transport what surplus they had or could
produce to help feed, clothe and otherwise assist the newcomers. Despite the
best efforts of the Earthlings and Natives of Arton the conditions in the refugee
camps was appalling and still deteriorating. Yet more new refugees arrived
almost daily. When they arrived they each had a small valise of their personal
belongings and nothing else. They had been told that there was plenty of food
on Arton and there was. Plenty of food to prevent starvation but not the food
that they were accustomed to eating. They had taken up fishing and were
developing a taste for the abundant seafood of Arton, that resource that had
never before been harvested, was abundant and easy to gather. No one
starved or even went without enough to eat but they had to improvise beds from
plants, occupy caves when available, do without toiletries and all the
conveniences that they had enjoyed on Dedov.
May 17, 2180: Conditions on Dedov had worsened much sooner than
had been anticipated. The planet's orbit had rapidly become more eccentric.
The rescue effort knew that they would be lucky if it held together for another six
months. The efforts of the combined space fleet had succeed in removing
another 150,000 refugees but conditions on Arton had also deteriorated.
Disease and hunger for their customary foods were taking it's toll.
CHAPTER – Hopeless Rescue – Miraculous Save
May 25, 2180: All was turning to despair then out of nowhere a space
ship materialized into Dedov orbit. It dwarfed the pitiful ships being used by the
space fleet of Earth and Dedov. Minutes later another of an entirely different
design materialized, followed by another and another. Within one day there
were a total of 75 ships in orbit around Dedov. All of these ships were basically
saucer shaped but they each followed a different design concept. Arton Three
was just approaching Dedov and had come out of Warp drive when their radio
boomed on.
“Attention Arton Three,” the voice said in English, my name is Funutuoie,
I am the commander of a fleet of ships from what would translate in English to
“The Intergalactic Association of Civilized Planets.” We have been Monitoring
the events of Earth, Mars, Arton and Dedov for a long time. None of your
planets have ever attracted us to make contact with you. None of you have
ever met the minimum qualifications for Inclusion into our society. Frankly until
Earth suffered its catastrophe, Earth worried us a great deal. Since the
holocaust on Earth we have been very pleased to see the change in the Earth,
and the attitude of the people now living there. We have been sending ships to
patrol Earth for the last four hundred of your years. The only reason that we
have now chosen to intercede is a charitable interest in rescuing the people
remaining on Dedov. We have dispatched an adequate number of ships to
remove the remaining population i during the next 26 Earth days, four hours
and 42 minutes to be exact. That is that is precisely the time remaining before
Dedov will loose orbital stability and plunge into it's sun. Don't worry before that
happens all of the people will be safely on Earth. Please communicate this
message to all the other ships in your armada and have them start loading as
many of the pitiful refugees from Arton as they can accommodate and move
them to Mars. Don't worry about the rest of them we will transfer those
remaining on Arton to Earth for you. Beyond this one gesture of good will , that
we are committed to , you will not hear from us again until you have developed
enough to be invited to join us. My best estimate is that will be several
thousands of your Earth years from now. You should now get on your radio and
retransmit this message to your ships and planets. By the time you get back to
Earth or Mars the people of Dedov will have been there for several of your
months. We will take over the rescue effort from here on . Once again ,this is
the one and only communication you will ever receive from us, until we deem
you ready to join us. Good luck and God's speed.
The com center on the Arton Three had recorded the entire message. It
would be played again and again on Arton, Mars and Earth, over the coming
centuries.
Captain Horn of Arton Three immediately relayed the message that he
had received to all of the planets and ships, but they had already heard the
original message. All of the ships from Earth and Dedov went directly to Arton
and began loading refugees. Several of the ships were already loaded with
refugees from Dedov so they just changed course and headed for Mars. Six
Months later when the Arton ships came out of Warp drive and approached
Mars they learned that indeed the entire population of Dedov had already been
on Earth for more than five months. The ships of the intergalactic Association of
Civilized Planets had done exactly as they said they would do. Within four days
of the transmission their ships had begun to materialize in Earth orbit and
shuttle the refugees to down to the planet.

CHAPTER – Earth receives the refugee from Dedov


June 1, 2180: The saucer shaped shuttles each carried 950 to 1050
passengers. The shuttles all landed in open spaces in the American West.
They always landed near rivers. As soon as the last passenger was clear the
shuttle would return to the mother ships for another load. Each passenger
carried a bundle that could be strapped on like a back pack. In each parcel
were found 365 packets of food that looked like one ounce plastic tear open
envelopes. Instructions, written in Dedovian language, told the user to mix the
contents of the package with what amounted to approximately eight ounces of
water. This would provide the user with a nutritionally balanced diet. The 365
packets would keep him sound for one Earth year. The product when mixed
was tasteless, but after a three ounce meal you were no longer hungry. Each
pouch also contained a blanket, an air mattress and a large pack of tissue.
Each pack weighed almost forty pounds. In addition to the packs they had
been issued each immigrant also carried a small valise of personal belongings,
clothes and treasured memorabilia. Each group refugees were put down no
closer than one mile from the next group. Within one day's time there were four
thousand such groups dotting the American West. The human population of the
planet had been told that the mysterious ships had promised to deliver the
people to Earth but had no idea of when or where they would be delivered.
The people of Earth, were now outnumbered by the people of Dedov.
The Earthlings stuck to their guns and insisted that the newcomers learn
English. Since the people of Dedov were a lot better at language skills and
since the people of Earth were their hosts they readily agreed to do so. At that
point the little Artonian linguists stepped in and started teaching English. Each
Artonian was teaching twelve, one hour classes per day. Since the Dedovians
also had a faculty for language, they were able to communicate in English
within a matter of weeks and were quite fluent by the end of the first year.
The arrival of the Dedovians triggered a herculean effort on the part of
the humans on Earth to relocate and assimilate the four million Dedovians into
their population of only two hundred and fifty thousand humans. It took the
Humans and Dedovians almost five years to get all the wrinkles ironed out. By
the end of five years both populations were totally integrated. The Dedovians
had all learned the English language, the populations were totally integrated,
everyone had a home, everyone had plenty to eat and everyone had a
meaningful job to do.
Soon there were enough hydro-electric plants in operation so that the
nuclear plants could be once more shut down. There was actually traffic on the
highways and freeways of the American West. Crops were ripening in the
fields, grapes in the vineyards, fruit on the trees, Artonian fruits and vegetables
were coming to market in abundance. Factories were reopening manufacturing
everything from tooth paste to automobile tires. Clothing was being produced
the old way, from cotton. America was once again becoming the land of milk
and honey.

CHAPTER – Meanwhile on Mars and Arton


December 15, 2189: By the time the Dedov fleet arrived and made Mars
orbit the people on those ships were pretty hungry and tired. They had been
away from their homes for a long time. They had already been briefed as to
what they would find on Mars. Even knowing what to expect they were still
pleasantly surprised. Most of them were so thrilled to be on a stable planet with
plenty of room and plenty of food that they voiced few complaints.
It took the entire fleet two trips to Mars from Arton to evacuate all of the
Dedovians who wanted to go to Mars. It took the four Earth ships three trips.
The people arriving on Mars had also been briefed regarding the
conditions on Earth. Almost one hundred thousand of them expressed a desire
to move on to Earth. The ships that had brought them to Mars were continuing
on to Earth so, after seeing Mars many elected to continue their journey on the
ships once they had been provisioned. Meanwhile on Earth there were more
than 150,000 people who liked what they had heard about Mars and requested
that they be allowed to live there. The population of Mars was once again at
two hundred thousand With so many space ships now at their disposal the Mars
Runner was retired.
A Dedovian ship left Earth every Monday morning for Mars. A Dedovian
ship would leave Mars every Friday evening for Earth. Passage was free for
anyone who wanted to change residence or visit the other planet was welcome
to do so.
One of the Arton ships left Mars every three months for Arton. People
were also allowed free passage to and from Arton. Once Arton started
receiving regular shipments from Mars big changes took place.. City's were
springing up, stores and restaurants opened, corporations formed so that in
time Arton bore a quite similar appearance to Earth. The natives of Arton were
allowed to remain on the islands they had always lived on if they wanted to but
they could board one of the merchant trade ships and get off at any island they
chose. From any vantage point on any island you could see several nearby
islands. Just as there were no continents on Arton there were really no Oceans
either.

PART IV
THE NEW ORDER, After January 1, 2181
(How things worked on the newly resettled Earth)
CHAPTER – The Dedovian Religion
September 17, 2185: The last five years had been a tumultuous time on
the Earth and on Mars. Both groups had new cultures to assimilate and new
technologies to master. The races were so computable that a male from either
race could father a child with a woman from the other race. On Earth there had
been no effort to segregate people by race. Inter marriage was commonplace.
December 25, 2185: As for religion, the human survivors had been
limited at the time of the holocaust to Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.
On Dedov religion had not played as important role as it had played on Earth.
Perhaps that is why the people of the planet Dedov did not share the violent
past that Earth had. The people of Dedov were taught one religious concept as
children which they retained throughout their lives. A Dedovian in conversation
with an Earth native gave the following description of the Dedovian religion:
“God was the product of evolution that had occurred on a planet long ago
and far away. The people of that planet had mastered the art of out of body
experience. When their planet had run it's cycle, lost it's orbit and was plunged
into its sun most of the population had left their physical bodies and stood
helplessly by as they lost their planet. Not knowing what else to do and having
no place to go these out of body beings merged into one being. And went in
search of a new home planet. Once a planet had been found the being took
stock of itself . The entity retained the spirits that had reached a state of
perfection and cast out the others. That central perfect spirit that remained is
what we think of as God.”
“The other spirits, the imperfect ones were to go to the new planet they
had found and seek perfection. Once that perfection had been achieved they
were told that they would be welcomed back to join that central spirit as perfect
beings.”
“The imperfect ones not knowing how to go about this task of becoming
perfect became bored and began to enter the physical bodies of the birds and
animals that lived on that planet for a few minutes or hours or days in order to
experience life in the physical flesh again for themselves. As time went by more
and more of these errant ones became trapped in the physical body of some
animal or bird. The central God seeing this said “This will not do, if these errant
ones want to enter a physical being then I shall create a being that I approve of
as the host animal. He chose a being that seemed to be at the top of the
evolutionary ladder and seemed to have more intelligence than the other
animals on the planet. God then told the errant spirits that this would be the
only animal they would be allowed to enter. They could only enter the body of
that animal as it drew it's first breath after leaving it's mothers womb. God also
decreed that once a spirit had entered such a body that it must remain with that
body until such time as that body was no longer capable of sustaining life.
Once that body had succumb the spirit would be free to rejoin the other errant
spirits. They could repeat this process as often as necessary until they
succeeded in living a perfect life in the flesh. None of the errant spirits ever
succeeded in doing this so they complained to God that it was impossible to
lead a perfect life in the flesh, the test was unfair.”
“God then sent one of the perfect spirits from his central Godhead to the
planet to enter a newborn body and live an explanatory perfect life to show the
errant ones that it could be done. The life of this perfect one has been written
about in history although he walked on Dedov more than a thousand Earth
years ago. His life has been recorded for us to emulate. He has been known
as the Son of God. Some of us still try and be like him and lead a perfect life
but others have given up trying and just enjoy the physical life that they have
been given for the time that they have it. Some have had doubts that there ever
was one who lived a perfect life. Yet others have come to believe that if they
put their faith in him and beg him for mercy they will be accepted into the
Godhead when they leave their physical body.”
“None of us have any way of knowing whether this is true or not, we are
taught that we must just accept it on faith. Once we make the decision to enter
the physical body of a newborn child we are not able to recall our lives before
that moment. When we depart that physical body it becomes impossible for us
to communicate with those who remain in a physical body. Thus it is a matter
for conjecture whether anyone has ever lived a perfect life on Dedov. It is also
conjecture as to whether those who have put their belief in he who did live a
perfect life has entitled any of us to return to the Godhead. There are endless
conversations and disagreements on this subject. We, the people of Dedov are
those errant spirits. There is now much controversy over whether or not us
moving to other planets and interbreeding with non believers from other races
will have any effect on our eternal lives.”
Our definition of a perfect life is to be able to actually love the most
despicable person you have ever met more than you love yourself. That does
not mean to give lip service to the concept it means that you must actually feel
that way deep down inside yourself. To my knowledge no one has ever
succeeded in doing that but it is what we are all taught to continue to strive for.
“At any rate that is the substance or our religious beliefs in capsule form.
I know that you Christians and Jews have a holey books that you read from and
you attend meetings in churches, sometimes weekly and sometimes even more
often than that. I am quite sure that your religion is far different from ours,
though I have never read one of your holy books.”
“Our religious beliefs may not be as different as you might think Aglgd,
Merry Christmas.”

CHAPTER – The new Government


The new Government that developed started with the issuing of credits
and kind of evolved from there. As soon as the Government started issuing
credits they found that certain kinds of skills were becoming scarce because so
many people with those skills had left Government service, striking out on their
own. In order to lure those people back to fill the hard to fill positions they
started offering to pay some workers more than the basic thousand credits per
month. Soon the thousand credits had just became the minimum wage. As the
society grew and matured the need for skilled workers in every field was
realized. The most critical need was in the medical and technical fields.
One of the first thing the new society had done was to start schools to
provide children with a basic education. That naturally lead to starting colleges
and Universities to provide those interested in special skills the vehicle to
acquire them. Once again Earth was forced into tapping into Mars for help.
Mars had been running schools of higher education for centuries and some of
their universities had developed rich traditions. Better than half the population
of Mars had a college education. Mars sent teams of educators to start the
Universities on Earth and to staff them. Mars was where most scientists had
gravitated. In the early 23rd Century Mars was a far more sophisticated planet
than Earth.
It was also an interesting phenomena that ever since the institution of
free interplanetary travel Artonians had been flocking to Mars to complete their
educations then returning to Arton to apply what they had been taught of Mars.
The natives on the inner Islands of Arton were almost as developed as the
Martians. Earth not only called out to Mars to help organize higher education
but also to Arton. Artonian teachers and professors were highly sought after
and were considered the best instructors because of their patients with the
students and because their students were perceived to learn more in a shorter
period of time.
The first major University to reopen was San Diego State University
followed by UCLA, Cal Berkley and Stanford. When the law schools reopened
everything went to hell. The court system had to be reestablished, then Police
Departments had to be formed to feed the Court System. Civil law soon reared
it's ugly head and lawyers proliferated, not only prosecutors, but the whole
gambit of public defenders, private practice attorney's and public agencies for
child care, mental hospitals and everything else that fed that system. Old law
books were drug out and reprinted. The Constitution of The United States was
revised. The voters approved the revised constitution. In the revised form there
was no longer a representative form of Government but rather everyone voted
on every issue. Anyone who wanted to introduce a bill could. New bills were
filtered through elected committees and eventually presented to voters who
voted on them directly. A television station presented both the pro's and con's
of every issue. People could sign on either their personal communicators or
computers were required to give their password before voting on the issue.
There was no Executive branch of government. The local committees were
only paid a nominal sum for service to the community. There was a citizens
committee that supervised the police but any split decisions called for a public
vote. The members of the Supreme court ran for the office, anyone running for
the office had to have the required number of years of service as judges in the
court system. They had to take a written examination, an oral examination, a
physical examination and a thorough background check. The results of these
examinations were made available to the public, the public then voted on their
favorite candidate. A judge was allowed to serve on the Supreme Court until
some other judge challenged him for his position. Challengers would be allowed
time to plead their case on public Television, followed by the Incumbents
rebuttal. Then the public would vote on whether the challenger should be
allowed to challenge the Incumbent or not. If the public voted to allow the
challenge then the examinations took place. After the results of the
examinations were known the public would either vote for the challenger or the
Incumbent. Honest men of good faith and conscience were seldom challenged
but a scoundrel would be ousted in no time. Most of the members of the
Supreme court served for life or until they chose to retire.
The concept of privately owned real property had never really caught on
because there was so much of it. There were, however recording books at the
local court house where a person could describe the property that he used for
his personal residence. In the United States there were the old plat maps, lot
numbers, addresses that could be referred to in giving an accurate description
of the property. Each person was also allowed to record on one piece of
recreational property. The size of any claim was limited to the amount of land
required to make the property viable. If a person was running a thousand head
of goats on a ranch he might claim that he needed ten thousand acres, but if
he lived in a condominium complex he might only be allowed to claim his
undivided interest in the complex and his personal interest in the unit he lived
in. A person could claim anything they wanted to claim but if another person
disagreed with that claim he could call for a hearing where the issue would be
decided by a judge. Most people managed to work land use out between
themselves and seldom was a hearing called for.
CHAPTER – The New Economy
So far the entire three planet system had been running without any real
economic system for the last eighteen years. Everyone had just been too busy
to give it much thought. They were trying to get things working again. There
were few luxuries or special privileges to be had. Carl Marx would have loved
it, the state of perfect communism. The problem with that was that as soon as
all the pressing needs had been met people had a desire to acquire luxury
items, jewelry, and special privileges that if made available to all wouldn't be
luxurious or special. If a person wanted to have a splurge meal, there was no
restaurant that served such meals. If a person wanted to give another an
expensive special gift there was no place that manufactured such items and no
store that sold them. If a person wanted to spend a week on a cruise ship
seeing the sights there was no cruise ship. Everyone had tooth paste but it
came in a generic tube labeled “tooth paste”. So far what exchanges that had
taken place had been on the barter system. The planets need an economy.
That set off a two year debate on how such an economy could and
should work. On Mars, over the years they had dabbled in currency and an
economy only to abandon it in times of turmoil and crisis. Once again the
economy of Mars was working in a limited fashion. On Dedov they had a
vibrant economy until the planet had faltered. On Earth before the disaster
there had been a world economic structure so complicated that no one
understood it. What they needed on the new Earth was a simple system that
would allow people access to luxuries and special privileges that they had an
opportunity to select for themselves. Private ownership of property didn't seem
to be an issue with anyone on a planet that had formerly had enough real
property to accommodate nine billion people but now was home to only four
and a half million. No one wanted or needed private ownership of land.
Everyone respected the place where another person wanted to live, if they
didn't like it there were millions of other places to live. What these people
needed was some kind of enticement to cause companies to produce a better
product or induce a person to open an upscale restaurant.
What they came up with was a computer program that started everyone
out with the same amount of credits. The arbitrary number selected was ten
thousand. Everyone had a cell phone that could access the system but only the
individual that owned the credits could transfer a portion of them to someone
else. Everyone that performed a job that benefited society in general would
have an additional one thousand credits added to their account on the first of
every month. If someone wanted something that cost more than the credits he
had available he could borrow credits from someone else. The people all
agreed that this could, in time, evolve into a good system so the majority was
behind the idea.
Over the next hundred years that simple concept grew into a complex
three planet economy that actually worked. Within that flexible framework it
became possible to lend and borrow money, to receive grants to obtain luxuries
and special services, to open businesses to form partnerships to form
corporations to do just about anything anybody ever wanted money to do for
them. The system was not based on anything but the faith of the people.
Actually no economy has ever been.

CHAPTER – The Private Sector

Anyone could quit Government service and go into business for


themselves or find a job on the private sector. Corporations were springing up
right and left. Several Martian corporations jumped in to doing business on
Earth. Among those was Super Stores that opened a chain of retail outlets Big
Boy Burger that opened a chain of burger outlets and Hour Glass, Inc. that
staked out land in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino areas of the former
California and started growing grapes. They reopened the long deserted
winery's and started producing wine that they marketed all over the United
States, Mars and Arton. The Artonian natives wanted nothing to do with the
stuff but he humans on Arton seemed to like it. Hour Glass, Inc. also
reactivated a number of breweries in the Western United States. They went in
to the manufacture of twelve ounce beer containers and glass bottles for wine.
The beer products were sold throughout the United States as well as being
exported to Mars and Arton. Even with only six million potential customers,
Hour Glass soon became the largest corporation in the three planet system.
Big 7 convenience stores from Mars began to open outlets all over the
United States and bought products from other manufactures which they sold on
Earth and exported to Mars and Arton. They had over two thousand outlets on
the three planets. Martian Wood Products, Inc. began harvesting trees in the
Northwest, cutting them into lumber and making plywood that they also
marketed on all three planets. In conjunction with their lumber yards they
opened hardware stores. Since there were not many companies manufacturing
hardware items Mars Wood Products, Inc. started up long abandoned factories
and started manufacturing their own hardware and paint products. Soon they
were also manufacturing tools. They also had outlets on all three planets.
A few fledgling Earth companies began doing business on Mars and on
Arton and a few Arton companies began doing business on Earth and Mars.
The Government accounting office expanded the credit's system to make it
available on Mars and Arton. It took almost one hundred years before the three
planets were consolidated under the one government. The capital City of the
three planet system was officially located in San Diego, The State Capital of
Earth was in Sacramento. The state capital of Mars was in New Phoenix. The
State Capital of Arton was located in Island City, Arton.
The Arton ships and the Dedov ships were beginning to show their age
and would soon need to be replaced. The plant where the Arton ships were
originally built had been restored to operation. The plans used to construct the
original ships were still available. Care was taken with the original now brittle
documents and manuals which were all carefully reproduced. Parts were being
fabricated, and manufactured. Additional hardware was being ordered. The
nuclear drive engines were very difficult but the job had to be done. After much
trial and error and testing at the main plant in Bakersfield the shuttles began
hauling the pieces into space. Men working in space suits out of the Earth
orbiter began to assemble the parts in space.
It took almost twenty years before the A5 had been fully tested and found
seaworthy. It took an additional twenty years before the A6, A7 and A8 were on
line and the earlier Arton fleet was retired. The A9, A10, A11 and A12 were built
to a smaller scale from the original plans used for Mars Runner but carried the
more powerful engines of the Arton fleet. These ships replaced the old Dedov
fleet that had been making the Mars to Earth run for the last fifty years. Man
had equaled his greatest achievement with far fewer resources. It had been
feared that the project would bankrupt the economy but in the forty years that it
took to build the eight new ships the three planets had all prospered. The ships
had been built with a combination of Government and private sector effort. The
next major task was to replace all the shuttles and to build and equip domestic
aircraft for Arton and Earth. By the time that task was completed they would be
well into the twenty fourth century.
When mankind returned to Earth he found an almost limitless supply of
electric Automobiles that required only new batteries but in the intervening time
most of the cars and trucks on the road had just worn out. The population of
the three planets had grown in leaps and bounds everyone wanted a new car.
Some of the factories had been destroyed during the war but cars were not built
by just one company even before the war. Most parts that went in to cars had
been built in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Auto America, Inc was formed.
Crews were dispatched around the world to find the machines that had built
parts for automobiles. The machines necessary to build a small station wagon
were located, dismantled and moved to California. A new factory was built in
what had been Orange County. Within three years, while the space ships were
still on the drawing board the first new cars in almost 100 years began to roll off
the assembly line. Dealerships were set up in all the major cities of Earth and
even one dealership in Island City, Arton to market and service the cars. To
simplify production and turn out as many as possible as quickly as possible, no
changes were made in the hundred year old plans, there were no options
offered and they were all painted off white. Within a year the plant was
producing almost one thousand cars a day and they were all paid for in full
before they were even built. In subsequent years Auto America offered more
models, more color choices and more options. Three years after Auto America
rolled their first car off the assembly line Detroit Auto Company began making
and selling pick up trucks. A new company in Arizona began building and
marketing big rigs, the eighteen wheelers which there was also a critical need
for. All of these vehicles required tires, in fact the tires on the vehicles that the
first Earth colonists found had just disintegrated after a little use. The
Government had started manufacturing tires at a plant in the former Tijuana
within two years of the landing of the first colonists. The Government sold the
plant to one of the first corporations formed. Since that time the plant had
tripled in size and a second plant had been opened in Eugene in the former
state of Oregon.
All in all, not only Earth but also on Mars and Arton there was a critical
labor shortage. Many people were holding down two jobs some were working
twelve hour days. Colleges and Trade schools were graduating people in half
the time that it took to train people before the catastrophe. Everything seemed
to be running twenty four -seven. They only took time off to get married, have
babies and bury the dead.

CHAPTER – The wealth of the Former Residents


When the people of Earth Died off most of them left behind the trappings
of the things that represented wealth in their society. It is interesting to note that
many people who knew that their fate had been sealed and they had only a
short time to live spent a good deal of that time in protecting their valuables.
They put valuables in safes, safety deposit boxes and on occasion just took
them out and buried them. The new people exploring the old cities almost
never found rare coins or jewels, just lying around. This presented a real
problem for the people of the new society.
Most people realized that such items had no value but they still could
now resist picking up a shiny piece of jewelry or a coin for that matter. Many
people made a hobby of scavenger hunting or breaking into old safes and
strong boxes and removing the contents. As time went by and the new
population fanned out around the globe it became more and more difficult to
find such items. They generally used welding equipment to get into safes and
extract the contents. The items themselves gradually regained some value and
people began using them for barter.
One of the mathematicians calculated that if there had been twelve
Billion people and they had each had an average of one hundred items of
treasure there would be twelve hundred billion formerly valuable items left on
the planet. An average of two thousand six hundred items for every person
now on the Earth. That did not count the coins that were in common circulation.
Since they were being disproportionately allocated to the people that sought
them out many people soon accumulated tens of thousands of these trappings.
This is the idea that finally emerged. People were allowed to keep any of
them that they wanted to keep. But a committee was empowered to assign a
credit value to each item or type of item and almost ten thousand workers were
trained as appraisers. Anyone who turned in such items to a central collection
point would be awarded the appraised value of the item in additional credits to
their accounts. These valuables would then be placed in the vaults of Fort Knox
with all the gold that was found there.
Under this system a one ounce gold coin was accepted for five hundred
credits. Diamonds would bring about one thousand credits per carrot. Some
people started making an effort to locate these items and turn them in others
made an effort to find them and keep them for a rainy day while others just
ignored the whole proposition. Most elected to just turn in the things they found
but didn't go out of their way looking for them. One faction looked at as robbing
the dead and wouldn't even pick an item up if they came across it.
At Fort Knox finished jewelery was kept in one location, rare coins in
another, finished diamonds in another and gold coins in another. As fewer and
fewer items flowed in prices paid rose and the barter value of these items within
the economy rose proportionately. Eventually the Government opened
Jewelery stores and offered these items for sale to the public. Engagement and
wedding bands proved to be very popular.
In this way a planetary reserve was built up and whether the Government
realized it or not the credit's became backed by the Planetary reserve at Fort
Knox. This made a lot of people feel more secure knowing that their
accumulated credits were backed by something.
For the sake of convenience ordinary minted coins were eventually put
back into circulation and were sold by the Treasury at the rate of one credit for
one dollar in change. Foreign coins not minted by the United States were never
put back into circulation but were sold by the jewelery stores, for a nominal
price, as souvenirs. Most of the paper money was discriminating but what
when sound paper money was found choice specimens were preserved to
eventually be displayed in museums. The coin supply lasted for almost two
hundred years before the coins became so worn that they were no longer
recognizable. At that point the Government started minting new coins in the
same denominations but of a new design.

CHAPTER – Medical Care


The Government maintained a network of free medical care facilities.
There was one at or near every school. They were all staffed by five full time
people and were always open with one or more of the people on duty. Anyone
who felt sick or had sustained a minor injury could go to a local clinic and
receive free medical attention on a first come first served basis. If the person
on duty at the clinic could not solve the problem then the citizen was given a
slip authorizing him to make an appointment at a regional clinic. If the regional
clinic which was staffed by Family Practice MD's could not solve the problem
then the person was referred to one of the local Medical Schools, hospitals or
specialists.
If the person did not choose to go this route he was free to make an
appointment with any medical practitioner or facility that he wanted but when he
did this he knew that he would be charged for the service. Soon there were
private health Insurance companies offering coverage for a fee to any person
that wanted it. They all had different coverages available for a different fee.
Most people used the free public health care system.
There was also a free preventative health care program for people over
fifty where they were entitled to an annual physical examination and follow up
care once a year for routine cases otherwise as often as the primary health care
provider dictated.
Medication was all manufactured directly by the Government and
provided to the people as a free service.

CHAPTER – Taxation in the new order


The Government implemented the fairest of all possible tax systems.
They simply credited the accounts of people and firms that they owed money to.
This, you would think, would have the effect of eroding away the value of credits
but it never seemed to have much effect on the value of credits. If a person had
more credits accumulated in his account than he had immediate need of he
could transfer the surplus to a bank that would pay him interest on those
surplus credits. The bank, in turn would loan those credits out to worthwhile
borrowers at a higher rate of interest than they were paying the depositor. The
individual that was seeking a greater return on surplus funds than the bank was
offering could transfer the surplus credits to a corporation that was soliciting
additional funds for expansion. In return the corporation agreed to pay the
investor a prorated share of the profits of the corporation if any or a prorated
ownership in the corporation but not necessarily in corporate management.
Large Government issued contracts for goods and services, in excess of
one million credits had to be approved by a Government watchdog committee.
If the committee was not one hundred percent in favor of the proposed
expenditure then the Government had the opportunity to modify the request. If
an impasse developed between the Government and the committee both sides
would be given the opportunity to present their side of the issue on public
Television before the mater was put before the voters.
Though there was no executive or legislative branches of Government
there was an active civil service headed by a civil service commission. The
Government then pretty much amounted to the civil service commission who
were chosen in the same way that the Supreme Court was chosen.
The Civil Service Commission ran the General Accounting Office, the
Department of Public Safety, The Department of Public Records and a number
of other public agencies.
The General Accounting Office not only had charge of posting and
transferring credits but were oversaw the Securities Exchange Commission,
that kept an eye on the Corporations, and the Planetary Deposit Insurance
Corporation that kept an eye on the banks
The General Public could challenge the actions taken by any agency. In
some cases by circulating a petition and in other cases by filing a civil action.
There was a lot more to the Government than that but the system
worked.

CHAPTER – The Criminal Justice System

There was no capital punishment. The entire justice system was


dedicated to criminal reform and behavior modification. In most cases the
punishment fit the crime. Community Service rather than Incarceration was the
customary penalty for violations of the Criminal Code. Probation was the
custom. The worst violators, the absolute Incorrigibles were sedated, put on a
shuttle and dropped off at some remote location thousands of miles from the
United States. When they awoke they had no idea where on Earth they were.
They were told that if they ever showed up in the United States again they
would be put on Moon Base. There had been a special section of Moon Base
walled off . Tasteless food powder and running water but only one gallon per
day would be provided, inmates would have an air mattress, a blanket and a
toilet but nothing else. No one had ever sent to Moon Base. Most convicted
criminals just did their public service, followed the advise of their counselor and
their probation officer. They attended the mandatory classes and tried to put
the matter behind them. If they had been unskilled they were taught a
marketable skill and placed in a paying job where they could apply that skill.
The Government ran trade schools that taught useful skills to all
unskilled workers that wanted to better themselves. No one needed to live in
substandard housing. Everyone was entitled to a Government job that paid the
minimum wage. Even people who were pertinently confined to bed had the job
of lying in bed and received the minimum wage. If anyone ever refused to do
any work at all they were removed to Catalina Island where they were provided
with tasteless powdered food they could remain there until they notified
authorities by phone that they were seeking employment.
PART V

CHAPTER Four Thousand years later.


January 1, 6385: Four Thousand years had passed since the arrival of
the refugees from Dedov. The planet Earth had become a virtual paradise.
There had not been a war on Earth since the holocaust. There had not been a
battle fought. Hardly anyone on the planet could be identified as being from
any but the same race. The population of Earth was approaching five Billion.
There was one nation and one language. They had devised an entirely different
system of government, economic organization, production and distribution.
Most people were happy with the way the system worked because it worked for
everyone.
January 10, 6385: One lone ship materialized in Earth orbit. The
commander identified himself as Commander Whigl of The Intergalactic
Association of Civilized Planets. “People of Earth,”he began “We have been
observing your progress carefully over the last forty Earth centuries. Our
Supreme Council has carefully considered all aspects of your civilization and
come to the conclusion that you are now ready.” He then extended the invitation
to Earth to join the Association as a probationary member.

Recent article from University of Washington


University of Washington -- A new means of propelling spacecraft being
developed at the University of Washington could dramatically cut the time
needed for astronauts to travel to and from Mars and could make humans a
permanent fixture in space.

In fact, with magnetized-beam plasma propulsion, or mag-beam, quick


trips to distant parts of the solar system could become routine, said Robert
Winglee, a UW Earth and space sciences professor who is leading the project.

Currently, using conventional technology and adjusting for the orbits of


both the Earth and Mars around the sun, it would take astronauts about 2.5
years to travel to Mars, conduct their scientific mission and return.
"We're trying to get to Mars and back in 90 days," Winglee said. "Our
philosophy is that, if it's going to take two-and-a-half years, the chances of a
successful mission are pretty low."

Mag-beam is one of 12 proposals that this month began receiving


support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Institute for
Advanced Concepts. Each gets $75,000 for a six-month study to validate the
concept and identify challenges in developing it. Projects that make it through
that phase are eligible for as much as $400,000 more over two years.

Under the mag-beam concept, a space-based station would generate a


stream of magnetized ions that would interact with a magnetic sail on a
spacecraft and propel it through the solar system at high speeds that increase
with the size of the plasma beam.

Winglee estimates that a control nozzle 32 meters wide would generate


a plasma beam capable of propelling a spacecraft at 11.7 kilometers per
second. That translates to more than 26,000 miles an hour or more than
625,000 miles a day.

Mars is an average of 48 million miles from Earth, though the distance


can vary greatly depending on where the two planets are in their orbits around
the sun. At that distance, a spacecraft traveling 625,000 miles a day would take
more than 76 days to get to the red planet. But Winglee is working on ways to
devise even greater speeds so the round trip could be accomplished in three
months.

But to make such high speeds practical, another plasma unit must be
stationed on a platform at the other end of the trip to apply brakes to the
spacecraft.

"Rather than a spacecraft having to carry these big powerful propulsion


units, you can have much smaller payloads," he said.

Winglee envisions units being placed around the solar system by


missions already planned by NASA. One could be used as an integral part of a
research mission to Jupiter, for instance, and then left in orbit there when the
mission is completed. Units placed farther out in the solar system would use
nuclear power to create the ionized plasma; those closer to the sun would be
able to use electricity generated by solar panels.

The mag-beam concept grew out of an earlier effort Winglee led to


develop a system called mini-magnetospheric plasma propulsion. In that
system, a plasma bubble would be created around a spacecraft and sail on the
solar wind. The mag-beam concept removes reliance on the solar wind,
replacing it with a plasma beam that can be controlled for strength and
direction.

A mag-beam test mission could be possible within five years if financial


support remains consistent, he said. The project will be among the topics during
the sixth annual NASA Advanced Concepts Institute meeting Tuesday and
Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seattle. The meeting is free and open
to the public.

Winglee acknowledges that it would take an initial investment of billions


of dollars to place stations around the solar system. But once they are in place,
their power sources should allow them to generate plasma indefinitely.

The system ultimately would reduce spacecraft costs, since individual


craft would no longer have to carry their own propulsion systems. They would
get up to speed quickly with a strong push from a plasma station, then coast at
high speed until they reach their destination, where they would be slowed by
another plasma station.

"This would facilitate a permanent human presence in space," Winglee


said. "That's what we are trying to get to."

University of Washington